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Patriots Select Former Player to Replace Bill Belichick: Report

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The New England Patriots have agreed to hire Jerod Mayo to succeed the legendary Bill Belichick as the team’s head coach, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Mayo, 37, would become the youngest head coach in the NFL and the Patriots’ first black head coach ever.

Details were still being worked out on Friday, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the decision.

Mayo played eight seasons in the NFL and won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots during the 2014 season.

Mayo’s selection comes a day after Belichick agreed to part ways with the Patriots after a 24-year run that included six Super Bowl wins.

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Mayo immediately rose to the top of the list of viable Belichick successors after the Patriots took the unique step of announcing they were giving the assistant coach a long-term extension last offseason.

Mayo, along with Steve Belichick — a fellow linebackers coach and Bill Belichick’s son — handled the play-calling duties for the Patriots’ defense over the past two seasons.

Despite New England’s 4-13 record this season, the team’s defense has remained highly ranked in several categories despite losing top linebacker Matt Judon and rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez early to season-ending injuries.

Though it’s unclear what the terms of Mayo’s deal before last season entailed, it came after he interviewed for head-coaching jobs with the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers each of the past two years.

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In announcing the decision to part ways with Belichick on Thursday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft promised to move quickly on trying to fill the void.

Kraft said the mandate for the next coach would be a return to the postseason for a Patriots team that has missed the playoffs in three of the past four seasons and hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2018 season.

“We’re looking for someone who can help us get back to the playoffs and win,” Kraft said. “Believe me, after my family, this is really one of the two most important assets in my life.

“I am very upset when we don’t win games. It carries the whole week. So I promise you I’ll be focused to do the best I can do to make sure we’re putting ourselves in the best long-term position to win for many years.”

Mayo isn’t expected to have the same control over personnel matters as Belichick did for much of his tenure with the Patriots. Along with being coach, Belichick also served as New England’s general manager.

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But Kraft pointed out Thursday that Belichick didn’t receive GM power until after he won his third Super Bowl with the team following the 2004 season and that Belichick “earned it and it worked pretty well for most of the time.”

That means a new general manager hire, or some other restructuring of the front office, is likely to be next on Kraft’s plate.

“I think it’s good to have checks and balances,” Kraft said.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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