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Wednesday Afternoon Patriots Notebook 2/28: News and Notes

Patriots News as Jerod Mayo Speaks Ahead of the 2024 NFL Combine

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
February 28, 2024 at 2:32 pm ET

Wednesday Afternoon Patriots Notebook 2/28: News and Notes(PHOTO: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK)

🕑 Read Time: 5 minutes

Some news and notes on this Wednesday:

Patriots Meet With Daniels:

Tuesday night reportedly saw the Patriots meet with the first of several quarterback prospects, with NFL Analyst Ryan Fowler reporting that New England was among several teams who were set to meet with LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels last night.

Oddly enough, reporters didn’t ask head coach Jerod Mayo about the meeting during his press conference on Wednesday, but Mayo said there were a handful of traits they were looking for as they continue evaluating who they’ll select in April as their new signal-caller.

“The thing about quarterbacks for me, look, everyone wants the big arm, the mobility, and things like that,” explained Mayo.  “But I do think it’s important just to get a good sense of what type of competitor that they are. Their toughness, and things like that. Those are things you really want to look for.”

When asked about how he measures those things, Mayo explained that part of it is watching film, but the other is also trying to learn a little bit about how they handle things when the going gets tough.

“It’s hard. One thing I would say is the film,” said Mayo.  “So you get on the film, and you kind of talk through things, you want to see how they they respond to adversity on the field and honestly, you want to talk about some of the adversity they had off the field as well.”

Obviously watching players like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, the hope is that the Patriots can land someone who can try and salvage things when a play breaks down.  Mayo explained that there are a couple of factors they take into consideration, which affect how they view things when it comes to a quarterback’s mobility.

“When you talk about mobility, I think you have to put it in two buckets,” said Mayo. “There’s one where it’s pocket awareness where guys can slide around in the pocket and still run a 5.2 40, and I think there’s another type of mobility where you have the quicker guys that can really get outside the pocket. So I mean, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald reports that, in addition to Daniels, the club has also met with Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and Bo Nix.  They’re also set to meet with Caleb Williams later today.

Patriots ‘Working Through’ J.C. Jackson situation:

Both Eliot Wolf and Jerod Mayo offered up some insight into the situation with embattled defensive back J.C. Jackson, who had a difficult 2023 while dealing with what his agent told the Boston Herald as being mental health issues.  Those problems ultimately saw him on the reserve/non-football illness list, leaving his future with the team in question.

Wolf said on Tuesday in a separate press meeting with the local media following his earlier press conference that the club hasn’t made a decision yet on Jackson’s future.

“I would say we haven’t come to a decision on that,” said Wolf via Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald. “We’re working through that. Haven’t talked to the defensive staff about that specifically yet.”

The team is in a difficult spot given that Jackson carries with him a $14.375 salary heading into 2024, which is a hefty number that the team likely won’t be willing to absorb heading into next season.

That means that a decision on parting ways with Jackson or potentially extending him would be the more likely scenario. Based on Mayo’s comments on Wednesday, it sounds like the latter situation may be the direction they’re leaning toward.

“Those discussions are still going,” said Mayo.  “Look, I love J.C., coached him, saw him develop into a man.  We’ll see how that goes going forward.  But, look, heck of a football player, two years removed from injury, he’s probably going to move a lot better this year, so we’ll see.”

Nick Caley

(PHOTO: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Patriots Offered Caley OC Job Before Hiring Van Pelt:

One interesting bit of news is the fact that it appears that former Patriots tight ends coach Nick Caley was the guy they ultimately wanted to hire as their offensive coordinator.

According to NBC Sports Boston’s Albert Breer, Caley was brought in for two interviews, with the club then making him an offer but it sounds like the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement.

“Caley traveled to New England for a second interview with the Patriots, whom he worked for from 2015–22, over the weekend of the conference title games, and was offered the Patriots offensive coordinator job by his old staffmate Jerod Mayo,” said Breer via A2ZSports.com’s Sophie Weller. “And he was offered it at a very competitive salary, which reflected the respect Mayo has for him.”

“It was tough to say no. But Caley had such a good experience last year with the Rams, that the idea of leaving was more difficult than turning down a coordinator job. So he stayed, and McVay, as I’ve heard the story, was ecstatic that he did (and McVay showed that emphatically on the phone with Caley when he was told he was staying).”

“In turn, the Rams have since made it worth his while by giving him the pass-game coordinator title that Robinson left behind when he decided to go run his own offense in Atlanta under Morris.”

The club then pivoted and hired Alex Van Pelt along with bringing in Ben McAdoo, with both now being the two guys who will hopefully navigate them through this next rebuild to their offensive system.

Mayo: Don’t Take ‘Change’ As a Shot at Old Regime

One thing that is apparently frustrating Mayo is how the comments by both he and Wolf over the last couple of days have been interpreted as shots against the way former head coach Bill Belichick did things here in New England.

Mayo was asked about the fact that if trying to send a message about how things are different was important as they try and send a message to potential new players.

He admitted that things will feel different, but not to read into it any further than that.

“Look, it’s going to be different. But at the same time, I would say, look, Bill did a great job for a long period of time,” said Mayo.  “I don’t want you guys to take this as because we’re changing as shots toward the previous regime. In saying that, we will do it differently, and it’ll feel different.”

“But at the end of the day, we would like to replicate the success that the prior regime has had. So, I learned a lot from Bill and also his staff, but now we’ll see what this chapter looks like in the franchise.”

Odds and Ends:

When it comes to Kyle Dugger and Mike Onwenu, Mayo made it clear on Wednesday he hopes both guys stay in the fold.  “Those guys are excited to go through the process [of free agency], which I think it is important for those guys to go through the process,” said Mayo.  “But hopefully, at the end of the day, they come back to New England.” … Mayo was also asked if using the franchise tag was an option, and he said that while that may be on the table, he’s hoping it won’t come to that.  “I mean, that’s always an option,” said Mayo.  “But at the same time, with guys like that, you want those guys to be happy.  You want them to be here for the long term.  So that’s the plan.”

READ NEXT:
Wasting Their Time? Bill Belichick’s Final Year Ends With a Poor Grade by NFLPA

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


Tags: Alex Van Pelt Bo Nix Caleb Williams Drake Maye J.C. Jackson J.J. McCarthy Kyle Dugger Mike Onwenu Nick Caley

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