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Taking Over as Head Coach After Bill Belichick is a Challenging Task for Jerod Mayo

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The Morning Win

This is For The Win’s daily newsletter, The Morning Win. Did a friend recommend or forward this to you? If so, subscribe here. Have feedback? Leave your questions, comments and concerns through this brief reader survey! Now, here’s Mike Sykes.

Goooood morning, family! Thank you so much for reading the Morning Win today! We appreciate you! Hope you’re having a fantastic Friday so far and have an excellent weekend ahead of you. The Patriots sure do move on quickly, don’t they? Bill Belichick just cleared his office out yesterday and told everyone goodbye with this awkward press conference.

Today, that space is already filled not even 24 hours later. Jerod Mayo is taking over as the Patriots new head coach. The Patriots didn’t even bother looking at outside candidates, according to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini. New England didn’t take a peek at Jim Harbaugh. Mike Vrabel never came into consideration. Mayo was always their guy. This was part of a succession plan already put in place. The New England Patriots never reached out to a single person including the hot names like Jim Harbaugh, Mike Vrabel, or even Ben Johnson, per sources. They made their decision less than a day after firing Belichick with a plan in place. — Dianna Russini (@DMRussini)

On one side, that makes a ton of sense. There’s probably not a more Belichickian disciple out there right now than Mayo. He played his entire eight-year career in New England and has coached there under Belichick the entire way. He knows the building inside and out and the players respect him. On the other side, he is a Belichick disciple. Let’s be frank: That coaching tree isn’t great, folks. Mayo is now just the latest — and youngest — member of that group. The Patriots have to hope he’s better. But it’s good that New England has a steadfast belief in Mayo’s ability to lead this team. That confidence should go a long way in what has to be considered the hardest coaching job out there. I mean, think about it. Mayo is replacing Bill Belichick. He’s arguably the greatest coach of all time.

Those are some huge shoes to fill — especially for someone who hasn’t done this before. It’s a spot that I’m sure Mayo loves being in, but it’s still a tough one nonetheless. Sometimes things work out perfectly! Sometimes they don’t! We just have to wait and see. RELATED: How these 12 head coaches fared as replacements for legends like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban

If things go south, it’ll happen quickly. Let’s be honest about what’s happening here — Belichick was just run out of the building after having arguably his worst season ever as the Patriots’ head coach. It’s been a while since the team won after Tom Brady, so it’s not unreasonable to think that wasn’t the right decision.

But still. He’s Bill Belichick. I never thought I’d see that dude leave New England. If the Patriots were willing to move on from him after all these years, the team nor the fans would be hesitant to move on from Mayo if the results aren’t up to the standard they hold. That standard is high. It’s been built by near-constant success over the last two decades. I’m not saying Mayo can’t do the job. I think he’ll be pretty good at it. It’s just … a lot. The job is a lot. And Mayo will need all the support he can get. Let’s hope the Patriots give it to him.

Speaking of Belichick … (JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images) Tom Brady finally gave us the tribute to Belichick we were all looking for. Things obviously didn’t end on the greatest note between Brady and the organization when he left for Tampa Bay. Of course, that includes Belichick. Their relationship is … a complicated one. But it wasn’t complicated enough for Brady not to share some kind words for his coach, who he says is the greatest to ever do it. Our Cory Woodruff has more here. Let’s take a look at Brady’s statement.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have played for the best coach in the history of the NFL. He was a great leader for the organization, and for all of the players who played for him. We accomplished some amazing things over a long period of time, many of which will be hard to replicate. he worked every day to help us achieve the ultimate goal, in the ultimate team sport … I could never have been the player I was without you Coach Belichick. I am forever grateful. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose next.”

Well said, Brady. Well said. Chiefs-Dolphins just keeps getting worse AP Photo/Charlie Riedel The Chiefs-Dolphins game this weekend might legitimately be one of the coldest in NFL history. There’s a legitimate chance for people to get frostbite at this game. It will be life-threatening cold for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dolphins game. A real threat of frost bite. @NFL has said there are no plans to change the game. Temp and Wind chill at 8pm tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Npf1rAVhb4 — Russ Adams 🌧️🌬️☀️🌡️🌨️ (@patpend) January 12, 2024 It’s no wonder the tickets have become dirt cheap — especially for an NFL playoff game. You can watch this game for under $75. Our Charles Curtis has more. “Hey! Want to go to an NFL playoff game for under $100? How about under $75? Great! Just, uh, one catch: You might be attending a playoff game that could be one of the coldest in NFL history. With the wind chills and temperatures for the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs game being positively (negatively?) frigid — Saturday has a high of 7 degrees and a low of -9, per Weather Channel! — ticket prices have dropped significantly, with fans noting on X (formerly Twitter) that you can get them for double-digit prices. But, really: Do you want to go? Y’all can go if you want. Just try not to lose any fingers or toes. Photo Friday: Alabama loves Nick Saban Leaving Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme pies and Coke bottles at Nick Saban’s statue in Tuscaloosa is not the thing I expected to see this week. But it’s a pretty sweet gesture from Bama fans. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt) For those of you who don’t know, this stuff isn’t random. Saban eats the Little Debbie cookies every morning for breakfast. And he always had Coca-Cola at his press conferences. They truly love Saban out there. He will be missed. Quick hits: Travis Kelce ain’t goin’ nowhere … An ESPN Emmy scandal? … and more — Travis Kelce might be a little long in the tooth, but he says he’s not retiring anytime soon. Andrew Joseph has more here.

— This ESPN Emmy scandal is one of the weirdest things I’ve seen in … a really, really long time. — Who wins a championship first: The Patriots or the Crimson Tide? FTW debates. — Our Meghan Hall talked to some of the biggest stars in the WNBA about some of their most embarrassing moments and so much more. It’s well worth your time to check out. — Our Christian D’Andrea ranked the NFL’s open coaching jobs from most promising to pestilent. — Here’s how pro-bettors are looking at all six playoff games this weekend from Ben Fawkes. That’s all, folks! Thanks so much for reading TMW. Have a fantastic weekend. We’ll catch you again on Tuesday. Until next time, peace. We out. -Sykes ✌️


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