NFL coaching rumors: Patriots' Jerod Mayo 'in the mix' for Bears job

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Report: Jerod Mayo among these candidates tied to Bears' HC job originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

A New England Patriots assistant not named Josh McDaniels could get consideration as the Chicago Bears' next head coach.

Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is expected to be "in the mix" for the Bears' head coach job if they fire Matt Nagy, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer reported Friday.

Breer listed Mayo and Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as "two younger candidates that project as leaders" who likely will be on Chicago's radar. The Bears may consider several more established options, as well: They've been linked to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, while Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier also could be a target, per Breer.

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Mayo has made public his desire to be an NFL head coach and recently was included on Tom Pelissero's list of young head coach candidates to watch. The 35-year-old former linebacker was an exceptional leader on the Patriots' defense from 2008 to 2015 and is generating buzz in his third season on New England's coaching staff.

If you're wondering why the Bears may consider a defensive-minded candidate like Mayo instead of an offensive coordinator like Josh McDaniels to pair with talented rookie quarterback Justin Fields, Breer added this insight:

"I’ve heard they won’t be focused solely on quarterback-developers like they were when they landed Nagy in 2018, with their focus likely on leader-of-men types."

Nagy has a strong offensive background but hasn't had much success in Chicago, where the Bears are 6-10 and rank 26th in the NFL in points per game (18.4). So, perhaps it's time to bring in a candidate with different credentials.

Mayo, who interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles' opening last year, looks like a real option for Chicago and would be a big loss for the Patriots' coaching staff if he moves on.