Bill Belichick deflects questions on Jerod Mayo calling plays

Andy Hart
August 09, 2019 - 11:03 am

Change is a constant from year to year in the NFL, both in terms of player personnel and coaching staffs.

That’s certainly true for Bill Belichick’s team that heads into a new season with essentially an entirely new staff of defensive coaches, with only safeties coach Steve Belichick returning to the same role from a year ago.

Thursday night’s preseason opener in the Detroit – one in which the defense put forth a dominant performance against the overmatched Lions in the 31-3 win – gave us a look at how the new cast of coaches is coming together.

From afar it appeared that Belichick is taking on a pretty significant role with the unit, huddling with his defensive assistants on the sideline after each series.

It also appeared that first-year inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo -- the former All-Pro jumping from the media/business world into the coaching ranks – was calling the defensive plays for the Patriots.

Belichick wouldn’t exactly confirm that role, though, on his traditional day-after-game conference call with the local New England media.

“We’ll always do what we feel is best for the football team. That’s what we always do. I don’t see that really changing,” Belichick answered with an all-encompassing non-answer.

So, is Mayo calling the plays?

“We’re doing what’s best for the football team,” Belichick said again.

The coach was only slightly more enlightening in regards to the way the new-look staff handled itself on the field in the preseason opener.

“There are things for all of us on the coaching staff that we need to work on,” Belichick said. “We’ll just keep working on them. That’s what preseason games are for and training camp and so forth. We’ll just keep working individually and collectively as a staff to be more efficient and do a better job.”

Related: Preseason opener thumbs up, thumbs down: Brian Hoyer’s passing game impresses