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Why is Pats' coaching staff so big? Jerod Mayo explains his thinking

Why is Pats' coaching staff so big? Jerod Mayo explains his thinking originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

One obvious way the New England Patriots' coaching staff has changed from Bill Belichick to Jerod Mayo: It's a lot bigger.

Belichick kept a notoriously tight circle over two-plus decades in New England, but Mayo has expanded that circle considerably; the Patriots recently announced 17 new additions to their coaching staff, which includes at least 25 members across offense, defense and special teams.

During a press conference Wednesday to introduce new coordinators Alex Van Pelt (offense), DeMarcus Covington (defense) and Jeremy Springer (special teams), Mayo explained the thought process behind increasing the headcount so dramatically.

"One thing wanted to make sure of is that we weren't duplicating roles," Mayo said. "So for us, we were thinking about, what value does this role bring to the team? Historically, we've always had small staffs. It's hard to get things done that way in today's NFL.

"We weren't really thinking about the size. We were just thinking about, how can we make this staff as good as it can be?"

Whereas Belichick wore multiple hats in New England -- he worked with the offensive line in 2023 in addition to serving as the team's head coach and de facto general manager -- Mayo seems very open to delegating, with an understanding that he'll need to lean on his assistants with just five years of NFL coaching experience.

"Honestly, after talking to a lot of coaches, your first year coaching, you hope you put together the best staff, but realistically, it's a process."

Mayo's coordinators apparently are playing a key role in that process. Mayo confirmed Van Pelt had significant input in filling out the offensive coaching staff, while Covington said he was involved in the hiring of defensive assistants. Mayo even leaned on new head of personnel Eliot Wolf, who was in the room for New England's interviews with prospective coaches.

"Eliot has been great," Mayo said. "He was in all of the interviews. He has a lot of contacts and resources outside of the building. From my perspective, all of my football has really been here, so it was really important to bring in AVP (Alex Van Pelt), (senior offensive assistant Ben (McAdoo) -- Eliot grew up in the scouting world, he's been in multiple places. It was very important to get their point of view as well."

Having a large coaching staff can backfire if there are too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, and coaches aren't aligned in their messaging. But Mayo clearly sees upside in having a diversity of opinion and experience, and in a stark departure from Belichick, he has no problem delegating responsibilities.