Duron Harmon on D&K explains what makes Jerod Mayo good coach, acknowledges he's been calling plays

Ryan Hannable
August 12, 2019 - 7:07 pm

Although Bill Belichick hasn't confirmed Jerod Mayo has been calling the defensive plays, it certainly appeared so in Thursday's preseason opener against the Lions.

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And in an appearance on Dale & Keefe with Andy Hart and Jermaine Wiggins in with Dale Arnold, Patriots safety Duron Harmon appeared to confirm it when speaking about what it's like to play for Mayo, who is officially listed as middle linebackers coach in his first season.

“Obviously, it is a process. It is a process for all of us right now," Harmon said. "It’s the beginning of the season. We are working hard each and every day. The players are working hard at playing the game the right way, taking our techniques, our fundamentals and putting it obviously, from drills to team periods right now. The coaches are working the same way.

"Jerod, obviously, he’s been calling the plays for us. He’s been working at making sure he can get the play in on time and he’s been doing a good job for us. Obviously, there are going to be growing pains, and I wouldn’t even call them growing pains. There are just some things we’re going to need to get better at, but right now I like where we are headed.”

It is worth noting this doesn't mean Mayo will call plays in the regular season, but certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Harmon and the other players seem to like Mayo's style.

“He is always asking us and coming up to us, ‘This is what I am thinking for this drive. … What are you guys thinking?,’" he said. "He is trying to get the input obviously of the older guys, but I think the thing that makes Mayo so unique in this situation is not only was he a great football player, but he was just a smart football player as well. Always knew where to be. Always was smart enough to get other people aligned as well. So when you have a guy like that, who is that smart and a great leader, it is so easy for people to follow him. It is so easy.”

Even with some of the starters resting against the Lions, the unit finished with nine sacks in the 31-3 win and looked like a unit poised for a big season.

"Any time you see the defensive line getting after the quarterback, I mean we talk about nine sacks, but how many times was there pressure in the quarterbacks face forcing hurried throws and stuff like that? That are really exciting for us because when you get pressure like that it leads to turnovers in the back end," Harmon said.“It’s still early. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do. Even with the success we had, there were still some things in the game that we did that we know we have to do a lot better. That is what we’re working at this week.

"We’re really excited to keep growing and going against a really good football team in the Tennessee Titans. Obviously, we know what they did to us [last year] and we know what they are capable of, so we have to make sure our heads are in the right position when we go down there and practice with them and then play them again on Saturday.”

Related: Bill Belichick via OMF seems excited to have Jamie Collins back in New England