NFL analyst offers interesting reason why he likes Jerod Mayo as Bill Belichick’s successor


“Jerod Mayo got to see Bill Belichick when he wasn’t the most successful coach in the NFL.”

Ryan Clark thinks one key factor will help Jerod Mayo succeed as a head coach. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

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Former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark had an interesting take on why he believes Jerod Mayo can succeed as the Patriots’ next head coach.

Bill Belichick built a dynasty, but the staff coming out of his coaching trees don’t have a great track record of succeeding as head coaches. The most glaring examples are Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels. In those two cases, the locker room seemed to lose respect for them, while they attempted to establish their version of the ‘Patriot Way’ outside of Foxborough.

Clark sees Mayo’s story turning out a little different due to one key factor.

“The thing I actually like about it is Jerod Mayo got to see Bill Belichick when he wasn’t the most successful coach in the entire NFL,” Clark said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “When you think about the Matt Patricias, the Josh McDanielses, the Brian Floreses, some of these guys, they only got to see Bill at his highest.

“Maybe [Mayo’s] had an opportunity to be in that building and start to figure out, what are some of the things that went wrong? … I think that this could be a good thing. You’ve been recognized for this position, you’ve been preparing for this position, in this very building.”

As Clark also noted, Mayo had the benefit of knowing what his role was going to be before he got it. He could try to dissect why things went south in New England — both week-to-week and big picture — from the inside, and better prepare himself as a future head coach.

Mayo also had the experience of playing for Belichick, unlike the others from the coaching tree that fell flat as head coaches. Mike Vrabel was a player, but never a coach under Belichick, and he found success with the Tennessee Titans.

Mayo will have both the player and coach side of the NFL, both from New England, under his belt to help guide him forward in 2024 and beyond.