The New England Patriots are entering uncharted waters under new head coach Jerod Mayo. The 37-year-old has never served in his current capacity before, while the Patriots are leaving behind two decades of sustained success under Bill Belichick. It was time to move on, but there's no clear indication as to how the next era of New England football will unfold.
Mayo has filled out his staff with notable names, hiring former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt in the same role and promoting DL coach DeMarcus Covington to defensive coordinator. Another key hire is flying under the radar. Mayo landed former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo as a senior offensive assistant.
McAdoo last served as the Carolina Panthers' O.C. in 2022. He also served on the Green Bay Packers' staff alongside Van Pelt for seven seasons, so there's a built-in connection. McAdoo's extensive coaching experience should be helpful for such a young staff. More important, however, is McAdoo's area of expertise — talent evaultion, especially at the QB position.
"He’s an awesome evaluator," one source told Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal. "All positions."
Ben McAdoo could help Patriots move beyond Mac Jones
New England fans are no doubt thrilled to see McAdoo's strong track record. It's hard to imagine how different the Giants' trajectory might have been with Patrick Mahomes on board. Heck, it probably would have saved McAdoo's career. Talk about a sliding doors moment.
Assistant coaches aren't always heavily involved in the NFL Draft process, but McAdoo's seniority could make him a valued voice in the front office. Either way, he will play a key role in the development of New England's next quarterback. The Patriots are widely expected to select a new signal-caller with the No. 3 pick in April. LSU QB and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels is the popular prediction.
Mac Jones was absolutely disastrous under center last season, completing 64.9 percent of his passes for 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in 11 starts. He wasn't the only reason New England occupied the bottom of the AFC standings, but Jones did very little to inspire confidence in the Patriots' offense short or long term.
We are only two years removed from Jones' rookie season Pro Bowl, but the Pats are going to move on. Belichick's primary weakness was not his ability to coach, but his ability to evaluate talent. He was a terrible general manager. New England has yet to find his successor in that department, but the combined wisdom of the current front office personnel and coaching staff — with McAdoo presumably as a leading voice — should help the Patriots land on a more suitable option at the game's most important position.