New England Patriots coach Jerod Mayo attempted to clarify rhetoric about the organization's vision for the future, saying recent comments by him and director of scouting Eliot Wolf were not a shot at Bill Belichick.
Wolf told reporters Tuesday that the Patriots are looking to move forward with an "open, kind of less hard-ass type vibe in the building." Mayo, who played and coached under Belichick, acknowledged those differences Wednesday but also praised the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach.
"It's going to be different, but at the same time I would say Bill did a great job for a long period of time," Mayo said. "I don't want you [in the media] to take this as 'because we're changing, there are shots toward the previous regime.'
"In saying that, we will do it differently and it will feel different. But at the end of the day, we would like to replicate the success that the prior regime has had. I learned a lot from Bill and also his staff. Now we'll see what this chapter looks like in the franchise."
The Patriots parted ways with Belichick in January after 24 seasons. The team had regressed each of the past two seasons in posting 8-9 and 4-13 records.
As Mayo and Wolf have communicated their vision for the future of the franchise in media interviews, how their words reflected on Belichick has been scrutinized by some.
Mayo addressed that Wednesday, adding: "It's been done a certain way at a high level for 20-plus years. But I'd also say there's more than one way [to do it]. It worked for Coach. We'll see what works for Eliot and myself."
Wolf is entering his fifth season with the franchise, but first in charge of personnel.
"We're really excited to kind of get going here and try to help improve the team and get us back to respectability," Wolf said this week in his first official interview in his new role.
Asked about his pitch to free agents, Wolf said: "This is a new program, and we're headed in the right direction. It's a new era. We have leadership with Jerod Mayo that is going to be tremendous. He's just an unbelievable leader and developer of people. And I think that as we move forward with a new offense and defense, it's going to be pretty special and exciting here."