June 21, 2024

During a press conference at the NFL owners meetings, Jerod Mayo, the head coach of the New England Patriots, suggested that he would approach quarterbacks differently compared to Bill Belichick, especially considering the perceived setback experienced by Mac Jones after the 2021 season. Mayo highlighted that Jones initially showed promising success but faced obstacles in his growth during his second year. Mayo emphasized the importance of surrounding a quarterback with the right players, coaches, and support staff to facilitate their development, recognizing the quarterback’s pivotal role in sports.

During Jerod Mayo’s time as the New England Patriots’ linebackers coach, the team drafted Mac Jones as the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jones had a successful rookie season under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, earning a Pro Bowl nod. However, after McDaniels left to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in January 2022, Jones faced challenges in his second season under assistants Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.

The Patriots’ decision to hire offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien came a year after Jones’ struggles began, leading to his departure from the team. Jones was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick earlier this month. Additionally, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick mutually agreed to part ways in January.

New England currently holds the third overall pick in this year’s draft, which could be used to acquire a highly touted quarterback prospect. The team also signed veteran Jacoby Brissett in free agency, potentially as a starter ahead of a rookie quarterback this upcoming season.

Jerod Mayo emphasized the importance of providing consistent support to a quarterback for their success, acknowledging that the path to success is not always linear but filled with ups and downs. Mayo’s experience has shown him the consequences when a team fails to fully support a young quarterback, as seen in the reported strained relationship between Mac Jones and Bill Belichick during the 2022 season. As a result, Mayo is unlikely to have a second-year quarterback work under a defensive-minded coach and a special teams assistant/coordinator, based on historical lessons.

Patriots' Jerod Mayo hints he'll handle QBs differently

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