AP Photo/Stew Milne
New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo reportedly may be a strong candidate for the Houston Texans’ vacant head coaching position.
Appearing Friday on the Pat McAfee Show, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said Mayo has a “very good chance” to become the next head coach of the Texans:
Houston’s head coaching job became available Thursday when the Texans fired David Culley after going 4-13 in his one season at the helm.
Mayo played for the Patriots as a linebacker from 2008-15, earning two Pro Bowl nods and the 2008 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in addition to winning one Super Bowl.
He joined the Pats’ coaching staff in 2019, and it hasn’t taken him long to become a head coaching candidate despite the fact that he has never even been a coordinator.
Mayo interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles’ vacant head coaching position last offseason, and he has received a request to interview with the Denver Broncos in the near future following Denver’s firing of Vic Fangio.
While Denver is a possibility for Mayo, he has a clear and obvious link to Houston since Texans general manager Nick Caserio was the Patriots’ director of pro personnel from 2004-06 and director of player personnel from 2008-20.
Caserio’s first year as Patriots director of player personnel was when New England used the No. 10 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft to select Mayo.
If Mayo does get hired as Houston’s head coach, he will join a team that needs to improve in several different areas.
Mayo’s area of expertise is defense, and the Texans are coming off a season that saw them rank 31st in total defense and 27th in scoring defense.
The Texans also have plenty of question marks on offense, including at quarterback after Deshaun Watson didn’t play at all in 2021 because of a trade request and 22 active lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault or misconduct. Women have also filed 10 criminal complaints against Watson. The NFL, Houston police and FBI are all investigating.
Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills did some good things down the stretch, however, and ended up finishing with 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 13 appearances during his debut campaign.
The Texans have a long road to traverse before they are playoff contenders again, and that alone could be a good reason to hire a young, energetic, 35-year-old coach like Mayo.