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In depth Athletic article on the rise of Jerod Mayo


BTTA

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I for one have greatly underestimated him. Sounds like the next head coach for sure. And a renaissance man.

A few excerpts for those who prefer beer over good journalism (you guys really should subscribe; best money I've spent following sports):

-------------------
“Some people, I don’t know what it is, have that it factor. And he’s got it,” said Brandon Spikes, a former teammate. “He makes everyone around him better. He’s a perfect human being. If I had a son, I’d want him to be just like Jerod Mayo.”

------------------
Wednesdays during the NFL season are when players learn that week’s game plan. For the first few weeks of his rookie season, Spikes couldn’t figure out how Mayo knew the game plan by the time Spikes showed up at 7:30 a.m.
Finally, he asked. “Oh,” Mayo responded, “I sit in on the coaching staff’s 6 a.m. meeting.”
Spikes was floored. Players don’t sit in on meetings with coaches.
“I’m not lying,” Spikes said. “He was in the staff meetings. For real.”
“I thought I loved the game — like really loved it,” Spikes said. “And then I met Jerod and Tom. And then I was like, OK, maybe I just really like it. I don’t love it like them. They just eat and sleep football.”

--------------------
Ninkovich arrived in New England before that 2009 season as a castoff who had only played in eight NFL games over the last three seasons. The first player who introduced himself was Mayo, who offered thoughts on the playbook and simple advice like where to get lunch. Ninkovich was impressed, but, somewhat embarrassingly, didn’t know anything about Mayo. So he asked the defending Defensive Rookie of the Year how long he’d been in the NFL.
“I assumed this was like his eighth year,” Ninkovich said. “He just had that presence about him. I thought he was a veteran because of how he carried himself.”
Ninkovic was so impressed with Mayo that he moved in next door on Neff Drive in Foxboro. They’d play “FIFA” — Mayo usually won — and talk football late into the night. For some players, reaching the NFL means football becoming really difficult for the first time. The schemes are more complex, the checks are more important and everything happens more quickly.
When Ninkovich didn’t understand something, he just asked Mayo, and Mayo always had the answer.
“With his mind and the knowledge he has, it was just a given that he’d get into coaching because it’s teaching,” Ninkovich said. “As far as on-field quickness, he is the smartest guy that I had ever been around. His ability to decipher formations and bark out calls and get people lined up — he was by far the fastest and best that I’ve ever been around.”

---------------
Spikes arrived in New England as a second-round pick in 2010. He wanted to make a good impression, so for the first few months, he came into the team’s facility well before his first meeting. And yet every time he pulled into the parking lot, he saw Mayo’s car already there, often next to Brady’s — the two early birds.
The next day, Spikes got to the facility even earlier, determined to beat Mayo into the building. Eventually, he gave it up. It never happened.
“When they talk of the ‘Patriot Way,’ I think of Jerod Mayo,” Spikes said. “That guy never left for vacations in the offseason. He was the first one in the building and the last one out.”
Mayo made teammates laugh with a Belichick impression they swore was perfect. But they also leaned on him for information, occasionally too intimidated to ask Belichick about the defensive game plan.
“Even though we were playing next to each other, Jerod was my coach,” Spikes said. “I knew I could go to him and get the details for what we were trying to get done, and he could deliver it to me just as Belichick would. Even as a player, he was already a coach.”

------------------
Mukunda, the Harvard fellow whose research has focused on how organizations select high-impact leaders, was asked by a mutual friend to meet with Mayo toward the end of his playing career.
Mukunda didn’t know much about Mayo, but he figured the meeting was to help walk a professional athlete through some personal finance decisions. They got a drink at Sip Wine Bar near Boston Common. Mukunda thought it was going to be a 30-minute talk. They stayed for three hours, with Mayo walking him through decisions he’d already made as an angel investor.
“By the end, I was like, ‘Wait, can I invest with you?’” Mukunda said.

-----------------
“There are a lot of people who can do X’s and O’s, but what the research tells us is that this characteristic — ‘intellectual brilliance’ — is the thing most likely to distinguish them,” Mukunda said. “It’s related to IQ but not the same. It’s horsepower with openness to new ideas, creativeness, broadness in taste.”
It’s something, Mukunda said, that most owners don’t consider, “a market inefficiency of stunning scale in the NFL.” And it’s a trait that Mayo personifies.
“If you get a chance to pick someone like Jerod, you pick them,” Mukunda said. “I don’t know if it’s with the Patriots or some other team, but Jerod will be a head coach in the NFL one day.

--------------
When Mayo suffered a season-ending injury toward the end of his playing career, he came into the facility and spent long days breaking down games with Belichick’s son, Steve, then a defensive coaching assistant. The two grew close and now serve as de facto co-defensive coordinators even though neither holds the official title.
Perhaps all of that helps explain why Mayo might be the perfect candidate to fill the massive shoes the elder Belichick will one day leave vacant in New England.
Ownership could feel secure handing the reins over to someone they know so well and respect so much. Belichick could feel proud handing over all he’s built to someone he drafted, developed and taught how to coach.
“He’s Bill Belichick 2.0,” Spikes said. “They speak the same language.”
Nothing has been promised. Belichick could continue chalking up wins and coaching for many more years. Mayo could get an offer elsewhere that he can’t turn down. Maybe opinions change. But for now, it’s clear the Krafts want to keep him close.
“They know what they have,” Ninkovich said. “So why let that leave if you can keep that within the organization?”
 

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A few excerpts for those who prefer beer over good journalism (you guys really should subscribe; best money I've spent following sports):


Not only is The Athletic great for their Pats and NFL writing but as an added bonus they've actually got good NHL coverage and Fluto Shinzawa on the Bruins beat.
 

Ivan

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I for one have greatly underestimated him. Sounds like the next head coach for sure. And a renaissance man.

A few excerpts for those who prefer beer over good journalism (you guys really should subscribe; best money I've spent following sports):

-------------------
“Some people, I don’t know what it is, have that it factor. And he’s got it,” said Brandon Spikes, a former teammate. “He makes everyone around him better. He’s a perfect human being. If I had a son, I’d want him to be just like Jerod Mayo.”

------------------
Wednesdays during the NFL season are when players learn that week’s game plan. For the first few weeks of his rookie season, Spikes couldn’t figure out how Mayo knew the game plan by the time Spikes showed up at 7:30 a.m.
Finally, he asked. “Oh,” Mayo responded, “I sit in on the coaching staff’s 6 a.m. meeting.”
Spikes was floored. Players don’t sit in on meetings with coaches.
“I’m not lying,” Spikes said. “He was in the staff meetings. For real.”
“I thought I loved the game — like really loved it,” Spikes said. “And then I met Jerod and Tom. And then I was like, OK, maybe I just really like it. I don’t love it like them. They just eat and sleep football.”

--------------------
Ninkovich arrived in New England before that 2009 season as a castoff who had only played in eight NFL games over the last three seasons. The first player who introduced himself was Mayo, who offered thoughts on the playbook and simple advice like where to get lunch. Ninkovich was impressed, but, somewhat embarrassingly, didn’t know anything about Mayo. So he asked the defending Defensive Rookie of the Year how long he’d been in the NFL.
“I assumed this was like his eighth year,” Ninkovich said. “He just had that presence about him. I thought he was a veteran because of how he carried himself.”
Ninkovic was so impressed with Mayo that he moved in next door on Neff Drive in Foxboro. They’d play “FIFA” — Mayo usually won — and talk football late into the night. For some players, reaching the NFL means football becoming really difficult for the first time. The schemes are more complex, the checks are more important and everything happens more quickly.
When Ninkovich didn’t understand something, he just asked Mayo, and Mayo always had the answer.
“With his mind and the knowledge he has, it was just a given that he’d get into coaching because it’s teaching,” Ninkovich said. “As far as on-field quickness, he is the smartest guy that I had ever been around. His ability to decipher formations and bark out calls and get people lined up — he was by far the fastest and best that I’ve ever been around.”

---------------
Spikes arrived in New England as a second-round pick in 2010. He wanted to make a good impression, so for the first few months, he came into the team’s facility well before his first meeting. And yet every time he pulled into the parking lot, he saw Mayo’s car already there, often next to Brady’s — the two early birds.
The next day, Spikes got to the facility even earlier, determined to beat Mayo into the building. Eventually, he gave it up. It never happened.
“When they talk of the ‘Patriot Way,’ I think of Jerod Mayo,” Spikes said. “That guy never left for vacations in the offseason. He was the first one in the building and the last one out.”
Mayo made teammates laugh with a Belichick impression they swore was perfect. But they also leaned on him for information, occasionally too intimidated to ask Belichick about the defensive game plan.
“Even though we were playing next to each other, Jerod was my coach,” Spikes said. “I knew I could go to him and get the details for what we were trying to get done, and he could deliver it to me just as Belichick would. Even as a player, he was already a coach.”

------------------
Mukunda, the Harvard fellow whose research has focused on how organizations select high-impact leaders, was asked by a mutual friend to meet with Mayo toward the end of his playing career.
Mukunda didn’t know much about Mayo, but he figured the meeting was to help walk a professional athlete through some personal finance decisions. They got a drink at Sip Wine Bar near Boston Common. Mukunda thought it was going to be a 30-minute talk. They stayed for three hours, with Mayo walking him through decisions he’d already made as an angel investor.
“By the end, I was like, ‘Wait, can I invest with you?’” Mukunda said.

-----------------
“There are a lot of people who can do X’s and O’s, but what the research tells us is that this characteristic — ‘intellectual brilliance’ — is the thing most likely to distinguish them,” Mukunda said. “It’s related to IQ but not the same. It’s horsepower with openness to new ideas, creativeness, broadness in taste.”
It’s something, Mukunda said, that most owners don’t consider, “a market inefficiency of stunning scale in the NFL.” And it’s a trait that Mayo personifies.
“If you get a chance to pick someone like Jerod, you pick them,” Mukunda said. “I don’t know if it’s with the Patriots or some other team, but Jerod will be a head coach in the NFL one day.

--------------
When Mayo suffered a season-ending injury toward the end of his playing career, he came into the facility and spent long days breaking down games with Belichick’s son, Steve, then a defensive coaching assistant. The two grew close and now serve as de facto co-defensive coordinators even though neither holds the official title.
Perhaps all of that helps explain why Mayo might be the perfect candidate to fill the massive shoes the elder Belichick will one day leave vacant in New England.
Ownership could feel secure handing the reins over to someone they know so well and respect so much. Belichick could feel proud handing over all he’s built to someone he drafted, developed and taught how to coach.
“He’s Bill Belichick 2.0,” Spikes said. “They speak the same language.”
Nothing has been promised. Belichick could continue chalking up wins and coaching for many more years. Mayo could get an offer elsewhere that he can’t turn down. Maybe opinions change. But for now, it’s clear the Krafts want to keep him close.
“They know what they have,” Ninkovich said. “So why let that leave if you can keep that within the organization?”

I think Belichick will coach 2-3 more seasons and then hang them up. He might go front office, but I doubt it. I’m hoping Mayo replaces him.
 

Pape

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I for one have greatly underestimated him. Sounds like the next head coach for sure. And a renaissance man.

A few excerpts for those who prefer beer over good journalism (you guys really should subscribe; best money I've spent following sports):

-------------------
“Some people, I don’t know what it is, have that it factor. And he’s got it,” said Brandon Spikes, a former teammate. “He makes everyone around him better. He’s a perfect human being. If I had a son, I’d want him to be just like Jerod Mayo.”

------------------
Wednesdays during the NFL season are when players learn that week’s game plan. For the first few weeks of his rookie season, Spikes couldn’t figure out how Mayo knew the game plan by the time Spikes showed up at 7:30 a.m.
Finally, he asked. “Oh,” Mayo responded, “I sit in on the coaching staff’s 6 a.m. meeting.”
Spikes was floored. Players don’t sit in on meetings with coaches.
“I’m not lying,” Spikes said. “He was in the staff meetings. For real.”
“I thought I loved the game — like really loved it,” Spikes said. “And then I met Jerod and Tom. And then I was like, OK, maybe I just really like it. I don’t love it like them. They just eat and sleep football.”

--------------------
Ninkovich arrived in New England before that 2009 season as a castoff who had only played in eight NFL games over the last three seasons. The first player who introduced himself was Mayo, who offered thoughts on the playbook and simple advice like where to get lunch. Ninkovich was impressed, but, somewhat embarrassingly, didn’t know anything about Mayo. So he asked the defending Defensive Rookie of the Year how long he’d been in the NFL.
“I assumed this was like his eighth year,” Ninkovich said. “He just had that presence about him. I thought he was a veteran because of how he carried himself.”
Ninkovic was so impressed with Mayo that he moved in next door on Neff Drive in Foxboro. They’d play “FIFA” — Mayo usually won — and talk football late into the night. For some players, reaching the NFL means football becoming really difficult for the first time. The schemes are more complex, the checks are more important and everything happens more quickly.
When Ninkovich didn’t understand something, he just asked Mayo, and Mayo always had the answer.
“With his mind and the knowledge he has, it was just a given that he’d get into coaching because it’s teaching,” Ninkovich said. “As far as on-field quickness, he is the smartest guy that I had ever been around. His ability to decipher formations and bark out calls and get people lined up — he was by far the fastest and best that I’ve ever been around.”

---------------
Spikes arrived in New England as a second-round pick in 2010. He wanted to make a good impression, so for the first few months, he came into the team’s facility well before his first meeting. And yet every time he pulled into the parking lot, he saw Mayo’s car already there, often next to Brady’s — the two early birds.
The next day, Spikes got to the facility even earlier, determined to beat Mayo into the building. Eventually, he gave it up. It never happened.
“When they talk of the ‘Patriot Way,’ I think of Jerod Mayo,” Spikes said. “That guy never left for vacations in the offseason. He was the first one in the building and the last one out.”
Mayo made teammates laugh with a Belichick impression they swore was perfect. But they also leaned on him for information, occasionally too intimidated to ask Belichick about the defensive game plan.
“Even though we were playing next to each other, Jerod was my coach,” Spikes said. “I knew I could go to him and get the details for what we were trying to get done, and he could deliver it to me just as Belichick would. Even as a player, he was already a coach.”

------------------
Mukunda, the Harvard fellow whose research has focused on how organizations select high-impact leaders, was asked by a mutual friend to meet with Mayo toward the end of his playing career.
Mukunda didn’t know much about Mayo, but he figured the meeting was to help walk a professional athlete through some personal finance decisions. They got a drink at Sip Wine Bar near Boston Common. Mukunda thought it was going to be a 30-minute talk. They stayed for three hours, with Mayo walking him through decisions he’d already made as an angel investor.
“By the end, I was like, ‘Wait, can I invest with you?’” Mukunda said.

-----------------
“There are a lot of people who can do X’s and O’s, but what the research tells us is that this characteristic — ‘intellectual brilliance’ — is the thing most likely to distinguish them,” Mukunda said. “It’s related to IQ but not the same. It’s horsepower with openness to new ideas, creativeness, broadness in taste.”
It’s something, Mukunda said, that most owners don’t consider, “a market inefficiency of stunning scale in the NFL.” And it’s a trait that Mayo personifies.
“If you get a chance to pick someone like Jerod, you pick them,” Mukunda said. “I don’t know if it’s with the Patriots or some other team, but Jerod will be a head coach in the NFL one day.

--------------
When Mayo suffered a season-ending injury toward the end of his playing career, he came into the facility and spent long days breaking down games with Belichick’s son, Steve, then a defensive coaching assistant. The two grew close and now serve as de facto co-defensive coordinators even though neither holds the official title.
Perhaps all of that helps explain why Mayo might be the perfect candidate to fill the massive shoes the elder Belichick will one day leave vacant in New England.
Ownership could feel secure handing the reins over to someone they know so well and respect so much. Belichick could feel proud handing over all he’s built to someone he drafted, developed and taught how to coach.
“He’s Bill Belichick 2.0,” Spikes said. “They speak the same language.”
Nothing has been promised. Belichick could continue chalking up wins and coaching for many more years. Mayo could get an offer elsewhere that he can’t turn down. Maybe opinions change. But for now, it’s clear the Krafts want to keep him close.
“They know what they have,” Ninkovich said. “So why let that leave if you can keep that within the organization?”
Wow.

Thanks @BTTA for posting those excerpts ... great read...

Glad we kept him around
 

Hyped

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Yep, "The Athletic" has been good reading the last three years.... I initially joined when they offered a deep discount during the pandemic...

I mostly read the Pats' coverage...but their Celtics coverage is pretty good...as well as their NFL draft coverage and mocks.
 

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I think Belichick will coach 2-3 more seasons and then hang them up. He might go front office, but I doubt it. I’m hoping Mayo replaces him.
I think so too - I kinda think Bill will still hang around in a supplemental front office role without running the show - but otherwise agree. It does make me wonder what that says about BOB’s plans though, as I have to imagine he would also want a shot at the job.
 

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I think Belichick will coach 2-3 more seasons and then hang them up. He might go front office, but I doubt it. I’m hoping Mayo replaces him.
If this year is a train wreck then accelerate that plan.
 

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Mayo was the first jersey I bought. Easily the best jersey I've bought.

There is are a slew of videos/interviews on this skateboarder named Rodney Mullen. Anyone who like skateboarding knows of Rodney, he is genuinely an "OG" - has been in it since the jump. And he's often regarded as one of, if not the most influential person to skate freestyle and street.

The reason I bring him up is that when you watch his interviews, he is WORLDS different from not only every skateboarder, he is very much worlds different from most people. He is just obsessed with learning everything he can about a skateboard. An undying obsession from which his body will die long before his own passion. And those are the Toms, Bills, and hopefully Mayos of sports. That's what I feel separates people.

Kinda like Spikes said - the people that made you think twice about saying "Oh, I love the game more than anyone."
 

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When Mayo supplants.....


1679343293177.jpeg

I'll start to believe.

NOTE: Mayo still LB coach
 

Ivan

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If this year is a train wreck then accelerate that plan.

Belichick is going to make that decision, Kraft won’t try to push him out. But I think it’s important obvious from my posts that I think Belichick needs to put a team out there this season that is a real playoff team, and not one that squeaks in and gets blown out, or doesn’t make it at all. And to do that they have to make a significant move this off-season. So far we have seen a bunch of depth/solid moves, but that AFC is loaded, and an OK team isn’t going to get very far, But right now they still have the opportunity to make a deal, or make picks that can get them to the next level. We will see what happens?
 

Brick27

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Mayo was the first jersey I bought. Easily the best jersey I've bought.

There is are a slew of videos/interviews on this skateboarder named Rodney Mullen. Anyone who like skateboarding knows of Rodney, he is genuinely an "OG" - has been in it since the jump. And he's often regarded as one of, if not the most influential person to skate freestyle and street.

The reason I bring him up is that when you watch his interviews, he is WORLDS different from not only every skateboarder, he is very much worlds different from most people. He is just obsessed with learning everything he can about a skateboard. An undying obsession from which his body will die long before his own passion. And those are the Toms, Bills, and hopefully Mayos of sports. That's what I feel separates people.

Kinda like Spikes said - the people that made you think twice about saying "Oh, I love the game more than anyone."
Great reference/parallel. Someone once asked me who was better at skateboarding—Rodney Mullen or God? Trick question, Rodney Mullen IS God.
 

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Nice piece on Jerrod Mayo in today's NYT... he & #12 were always first through the door during the season.. early enough to attend coaches meetings at 6:00 AM... comments from Faulk, Ninkovich and Spikes.. more and more obvious he is heir apparent to the HC of the NEP.

 

Username

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He is often overlooked as a player because injuries cut his career short, but he was really, really good.
 

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I think so too - I kinda think Bill will still hang around in a supplemental front office role without running the show - but otherwise agree. It does make me wonder what that says about BOB’s plans though, as I have to imagine he would also want a shot at the job.
I agree as well! Question.. when Bill does quasi retire do you thing if he took say a consultant type job would he ego allow him to not have anything to do with decisions? I love that mayo is his own man just an awesome guy period!
 

BTTA

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I agree as well! Question.. when Bill does quasi retire do you thing if he took say a consultant type job would he ego allow him to not have anything to do with decisions? I love that mayo is his own man just an awesome guy period!

I don't see the same signs of massive ego that seems to be the shared consensus. I see a relatively contained ego, given his level of success. Not many people can be labeled the GOAT while still going to work everyday and remain even close to competent, especially with the normal energy drag of aging. His reserved an sarcastic style lends itself to projection of arrogance.

My hunch is he'll be glad to let go of involvement with a specific team, and move into working whenever he wants, taking $50K for 30 minute appearances as an analyst or commentator on Zoom from his boat or island.
 
Last edited:

Real fan 02

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I don't see the same signs of massive ego that seems to be the shared consensus. I see a relatively contained ego, given his level of success. Not many people can be labeled the GOAT while still going to work everyday and remain even close to competent, especially with the normal energy drag of aging. His reserved an sarcastic style lends itself to projection of arrogance.

My hunch is he'll be glad to let go of involvement with a specific team, and move into working whenever he wants, taking $50K for 30 minute appearances as an analyst or commentator on Zoom from his boat or island.
I don't mean ego in a sense of arrogance, as Tom Curran even said.. all greats have ego's it's part of what makes them great..

I believe coach has an ego just like any successful person would have it's human nature.. it's impossible to devote a life to what he loves, retire then not have a feeling that he'd have to be involved..

With mayo then at that point running the show I feel BB has so much respect for mayo that he wouldn't try to overstep him.

So when I mentioned ego it isn't a negative comment by any means.. it was just a question that's all.. we are fortunate to have 2 greats forever connected to the organization..
 

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I read an article the other day where the Pats have decided who their next coach us, Mayo was the name. Certainly sounds like he could be the next guy.
 


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