June 15, 2024

Rather than a moment from Jerod Mayo’s playing or coaching days, New England Patriots owner  Kraft singled out a personal encounter as the time he knew Mayo was fit to be a head coach.

In April 2008, Kraft had just given the media a tour of Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo, his team’s first-round draft selection. After the press conference, Mayo, who was chosen with the tenth overall pick, had a message for Kraft.

Mayo remarked, “Kraft and Mayo, they go together pretty well,” which Kraft brought up on Wednesday. “16 years later, here we are

.”Back in front of Patriots no media, “here” is holding another initial press conference following the announcement of Mayo as the team’s new head coach.

Mayo is taking over for his old coach, Bill Belichick, who was let go on January 11 after leading the team for 24 years. During those eight seasons, Mayo participated in the game and recorded 802 tackles, two Pro Bowls, an All-Pro, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a Super Bowl ring.

During his tenure, which came to an end after the 2015 season, Kraft learned a few important lessons that he used to evaluate Mayo’s profile.

“During his playing days, he was a student of the game who loved to watch film and was often described by his coaches and teammates as another coach on the field,” Kraft stated. Jerod’s true passion is football. I think coaching was always meant to be his path

Despite Mayo’s retirement and pursuit of a commercial career with Optum, Kraft did not consider Belichick’s prospective successor to be gone. Kraft wasn’t shocked when Mayo returned to the Patriots in 2019 as the linebackers coach, but he hadn’t thought of Mayo as a possible head coach yet.

Within a week, everything change

Kraft and Mayo traveled to Israel, also known as the “Holy Land,” for spiritual reasons. It proved to be among Kraft’s most significant awakenings.

“The week we spent together in the Holy Land in 2019 really helped strengthen my convictions about how special Jerod is as a person and how capable I thought he would be as a head coach in this league,” Kraft state

Kraft contrasted this commitment with three other life events: hiring Belichick in 2000, meeting his late wife Myra, and meeting his wife Dana.

These three things support Kraft throughout his life. Now, Mayo makes up a fourth.

“There have been many moments in my life that other people couldn’t understand, but it was the right decision for me,” Kraft stated. “With Jerod, I knew while observing him in Israel, he was the right person to be the next head coach of the New England Patriots.”

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