Patriots HC Jerod Mayo



June 12, 2024



JM: Hey, guys. We lost a basketball legend today [Jerry West]. I just saw it on the news, so my condolences to the family and all the people that he’s impacted. So, alright, here we go. Questions?


Q: You have Tom Brady tonight. Just specifically, has he addressed the team by any chance or any of the former guys?


JM: Nah, I mean, he’s busy, you know? They had something last night; I know a lot of guys went out there and caught up with Tom, but I’m excited to see him. I’m excited for the event today.


Q: What’s the message for guys who are leaving town after today, going home, especially for the younger guys?


JM: Yeah, the message is don’t lose the gains that you’ve made, and either you’re getting better or you’re getting worse. There is no maintaining, alright? So, continue to work out at home and make good decisions off the field. If you do that, you’ll be okay.


Q: It looked like Drake Maye had made some strides since the last time we saw him. How happy are you with what he’s done this spring?


JM: Yeah, he’s done a great job. He’s going the right direction. Now, in saying that, we know there are going to be some down days. That’s one thing that I’ve been trying to stress to him is, “Alright, just keep chipping at the rock, get 1% better every day.” It’s not always going to be great. He’s done a good job.


Q: What are you hoping to accomplish in this last day before the break with the team?


JM: I think first and foremost is to get out of here healthy. If we can get everyone out of here healthy, that would be a great thing. Today’s practice will be a little bit shorter, but also to go out here and compete in a safe way. We understand it’s a non-contact camp. We want these guys to compete, and we want these guys to continue to bond. Even the bond here today – a lot of these guys will be at the event tonight. Hopefully, that continues to carry over the next few weeks.


Q: Are you convinced that in the last mandatory mini camp – are you expecting anyone to kind of pop in today at all?


JM: I’m not sure. There are a lot of people in town. If you just walk around the place, walk around Patriot Place, you don’t know who you’re going to run into. So, I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll have a few guys here, I’m sure. But at the same time, look, they’re all gearing up for tonight. They’re gearing up for tonight.


Q: So, you’ve had Drake Maye now for like a month, a month and a half. What is your impression of Drake? What has it been like to coach Drake for the last month?


JM: It’s been great. It’s been great. Look, this is a guy who we spent an extensive amount of time [getting to know] his background, his family, how he was on the field, how he was off the field. So, we knew the person that we were getting. I would say the surprising thing is just the way he’s able to pull the nose up, right? What I mean by saying that is he makes a bad throw, it’s out of his head. Move on to the next play. I think Jacoby’s [Brissett] done a great job, as well as AVP [Alex Van Pelt] and the rest of the staff, really helping him out with that. You’re going to make mistakes, and this is the time to make those mistakes.


Q: Davon Godchaux, we saw him the other day. It didn’t appear that he did anything. Can you kind of give us an idea of what his status is?


JM: Yeah, yeah. DG [Davon Godchaux], look, we want him here. He’s one of our best players. He’s working. I will say that. He is working. He’s here every single day, has been here every single day. We look forward to getting him on the field in camp.


Q: Is this a Matthew Judon-last year situation?


JM: I wouldn’t put it in those words. But there are guys that, obviously, they want to redo contracts and stuff like that. And not just DG, it’s a bunch of guys that want to do those things, and we’re working through it. Eliot [Wolf] and his staff, they do a great job as far as handling that. I don’t get into the player contracts. What I will say is one thing I’ve learned is sometimes the value that the team has on a person is a little bit different than the value that the market has on a person. So, those are just things I’m learning, guys. Like I told you guys before, I’m green, but I’m learning. I’m evolving, and these are the conversations that have to be had.


Q: What’s the goal for you the next year, the next month-plus? What do you want to do? What do you want to get done? Do you want to kind of unplug a little bit or are you going to be here every day?


JM: I’ve always looked at this period of time, even as a player, as a time to really develop. So, if you guys have some good book titles or anything like that, send them my way. But at the same time, I love football. I love thinking about football. Even if I wasn’t getting paid, I would still be thinking about football. But I’ve got to spend some time with my family as well. This is a time you build up that goodwill with your family knowing that once you get to camp, now it’s go time. The work-life balance, the 50-50 thing, that’s not a thing. It’s 100-100. Either I’m 100% at work, or I’m 100% at home.


Q: Speaking of learning and experience, a lot of first-time coaches, in retrospect, will say one of the things that surprised them is how much of what they had to do wasn’t coaching or football related. How have you found that balance as far as just being out here on the field? Has it made you feel like a football coach?


JM: Yeah, absolutely. I remember when I first took the job, it was like, “Man, I’m just in the room all day, every day.” The first time we were able to come out on the field in Phase-Two, it was one of those eye-opening experiences. Even the veteran minicamp time, it’s been just a great time to really talk about football, fundamentals and also X’s and O’s. You’re exactly right. There’s a lot of non-football things that head coaches have to deal with.


Q: Mike Onwenu was playing left guard on Monday’s practice. Is that still a consideration?


JM: We’re going to try to get the best vibe out there. Once again, it’s hard to evaluate offensive line and defensive line during this time, so we’ll see when training camp comes around. But once again, we always talk about the more you can do: the versatility, not only with the players, but also the coaches. He’s one of those guys that is blessed with that versatility to be able to play both spots.


Q: With him, we did see Caedan Wallace at right tackle. What have been your early impressions of Wallace?


JM: Yeah, I would say these young O-linemen, even the guys making that second-year jump, they’ve been doing a good job. Scotty [Scott Peters], [Robert] Kugler and the rest of that crew. They’ve really been focused on fundamentals and things like that, less about scheme right now. But all those guys are doing a good job.


Q: Jerod, Alex Van Pelt said last week that they saw pretty much the entire offense, and they’re trying to run through it twice this spring so that they can hit the ground running for training camp. You’ve seen it twice now. What are your thoughts on the offense?


JM: It’s good. We control the ball. But I would say this, you really don’t know about the running game until we put pads on. But those guys, as far as the lingo, the language and the execution, I think those guys are pretty much on a good pace.


Q: Another guy who’s been here a lot but hasn’t necessarily been practicing with the team is Sione Takitaki. What’s it been like to have him in the building, and do you have any update on when he might be able to get back on the field?


JM: It’s been great having Takitaki here. I’ve actually watched him the last two years. It was always that, “Man, this is a good guy to have.” He’s good to be around. He understands the defense, the X’s and O’s. He’s dealing with a little bit – just some soreness or whatever. But once again, it’s a new program. It’s expected.


Q: With the O-line, we’ve obviously seen a lot of different combinations out here, especially with the Jacoby and the QB.


JM: This is why I tell you guys, don’t do the depth charts.


Q: The question is, will there be a point in time where you want to have five guys who sort of build continuity? Is that like a training camp thing?


JM: Absolutely, absolutely. At some point in time, it’s, “Alright, here’s the depth chart. This is what it is.” To your point, the offensive line, there should be no tighter group than the offensive line. Obviously, they’re there to protect the quarterbacks.


Q: Jaylinn Hawkins is a guy we’ve seen, a little bit, play deep safety, it seems like. How do you see him fitting in? He’s got some starts under his belt, too, in the league.


JM: Yeah, we have a good safety group. We have versatility back there. We have safeties that can play linebacker. We have safeties that can play in the deep parts. It’s going to be a very competitive group. We’ll see in training camp, but he’s done a good job for us.


Q: Jerod, you guys have four quarterbacks on the roster right now. That’s a lot of reps to kind of split up, and two of them are rookies, obviously. Do you envision going into camp with four quarterbacks?


JM: Absolutely, absolutely. That’s how I see it right now. We’ll have these conversations as the week progresses, but that’s how I see it right now.


Q: And on the health front, you mentioned getting out of here healthy. Outside of maybe Cole Strange, who last, when we last spoke to him, he said [it was] like a month-to-month type thing.


JM: Yep.


Q: Everyone else tracking to maybe be ready for the start of training camp?


JM: Everyone else is tracking. They’re tracking to be there, let’s just say, the first couple of weeks of training camp, so we’re fairly healthy.


Q: Jerod, do you guys have to make some cuts in training camp? Obviously, you’re a former player. It must be a difficult process. I don’t know if you’ve been through that before, but I just wanted to ask you about what that process has been like for you.


JM: Yeah, the process, it has been tough, but I would say even when I was a linebacker coach, I’ve always looked at these as long-term relationships. I’ve always tried to treat those guys with respect and transparency. Those conversations are hard, but at the same time, there’s a business side of it that I think most of the guys understand.


Q: How would you sum up your first spring here as the head coach?


JM: I don’t know. I mean, I guess that’s for you guys to really figure out and you guys to write about. I’ve learned a ton. I’ve learned a ton, not only just out here on the field, but also in the classroom. Being able to talk to coaches that have been outside of this building has been great. Being able to reach out to guys like Kevin O’Connell, having Tony Dungy here, it’s been fantastic for me. That’s why I say this is the first evolution for me as Jerod Mayo, the head coach, and it’ll probably be different at some point in time, but I’m learning a ton, and it’s been great.


Q: Jerod, as you’ve gotten these guys in the meeting rooms, health sessions and so forth, how much of your business experience has informed your approach to attention span, learning, optimizing that time?


JM: Yeah, we always talk about mental sprints. We always talk about mental sprints. One thing I would say I took away from business is just being able to communicate with different people, different attitudes in different times of the year or men, women, black, white, it doesn’t really matter because when you work in business, I mean, it’s the whole gamut. This is a male-dominated industry, obviously, but there are women who are continuing to be promoted in this league and also players, non-players. It’s just the communication part.


Q: As part of wrapping up the spring, do you expect the team to be there tonight, like players? How are you guys handling that?


JM: Yeah, we’ll have a good amount of players on this team right now, and like I said earlier, we’ll have a good amount of guys coming back to support Tom. It’s all about Tom today, and I’m excited to be a fan, honestly. He’s the GOAT.



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