Patriots notebook: McDaniels, Mayo draw interest for head coaching jobs

Patriots linebacker coach Jerod Mayo, right, chats with linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Mayo is a candidate for the vacant head coach of the Denver Broncos, but for now, his focus is on Saturday’s playoff game against Buffalo. Mary Schwalm / Associated press

Josh McDaniels and Jerod Mayo, the Patriots’ internal candidates for head coaching positions, are certainly open to advancing their careers elsewhere.

And the opportunities line up, with Mayo already running for the vacant head coach job in Denver after the Broncos have requested an interview.

Right now, however, the two have said their priority is the game to be played against Buffalo on Saturday night. This is the top priority.

“Right now I’m just focusing on the Buffalo Bills,” Mayo said. “I’m definitely going to skip the interview, but right now it’s all about the Bills.”

McDaniels, meanwhile, said he didn’t know anything about a team asking permission yet.

“I don’t know, but it’s the same as I said in the past. If it’s in the cards for me, great, ”he said. “But I am totally focused and immersed in the preparation of the Buffalo Bills.”

Mayo said Bill Belichick supported his professional aspirations to become the head coach of the NFL.

He appreciated the opportunity to interview the Eagles last year.

“It was a great experience. I got to go there and talk a lot about football, a lot of different philosophies,” said Mayo. “It’s good to have these conversations, whether it’s about leadership philosophy, team philosophy, team structure, all that. So I like to talk about the ball, I like to develop people. It’s one of the things that I like to do. But it has always been the goal for me… I hope that one day I will have the chance to coach a team.

For coaches involved in playoff teams, it’s a balancing act that stays focused on the job at hand, while a potential employment opportunity awaits them.

“For me, this whole situation resolves on its own depending on who the team is and what they’re looking for,” McDaniels said. “They might be looking for a big presentation from you or a bunch of big lists or whatever. I kind of focused on myself and who I am and I’m not trying to do anything outside of who I am or what I know to impress anyone, thinking that if that’s how it’s gonna work, so it’s gonna work.

“The time of year is always different. It’s not an easy situation for anyone involved in these things, ”he continued. “But I think the best thing you can do if you’re involved in a playoff team like ours is to put 100% of your energy and effort into preparing for the team you’re preparing to play, and whatever happens outside of that, the good Lord will take care of it.

TO RECOVER Damien Harris likely won’t be 100 percent for the rest of the season after sustaining a hamstring injury in New England’s first game against the Bills in December and has been a limited participant in training since.

But after missing the loss to the Colts, Harris came back and scored six touchdowns in three games despite a bit of lameness and heavy stretching during those games.

Running backs coach Ivan Fears, who has coached the Patriots (since 1999) for almost as long as Harris has been alive (since 1997) and has coached football for much longer than that (since 1976), was impressed with his ability. to continue to grind. .

“He leads by example. Everyone has something to do right now, ”Fears said. “You have to love the child to get by and know the difference between an injury and just a little discomfort. But he’s playing the game the way we need him to play, and that’s what matters to me. It really is.

Harris was particularly good against the Bills. He had 10 carries for 111 yards and one touchdown in the first game at Orchard Park and 18 carries for 103 yards and three touchdowns in the second game at Gillette Stadium.

ALTHOUGH THE The Patriots did not practice on Tuesday, they have yet to issue an injury report as this weekend’s game in Buffalo is on Saturday. The team indicated that everyone on the active list would have participated, including Christian Barmore.

The out-of-the-ordinary rookie defensive tackle was hauled off the field to Miami with a knee injury, but the MRI “came back clean,” according to reports.

The fact that Barmore reportedly trained on Tuesday means there’s a chance he could come back against the Bills.

Kyle Dugger (wrist) and Dont’a Hightower (knee) – who missed the Dolphins game – were both reportedly limited, and the team said the same for Isaiah Wynn, who left Miami with a hip and did not come back.

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