New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo has begun the process of rebuilding the team’s coaching staff after the retirement of Bill Belichick. Mayo interviewed two offensive coordinator candidates this week as he looks to revamp the Patriots’ offense.
Caley and Robinson Interview for Patriots OC Role
On Friday, Mayo interviewed Los Angeles Rams tight ends coach/passing game coordinator Nick Caley and Los Angeles Rams passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson for the vacant offensive coordinator position, according to multiple reports.
Caley previously served on the Patriots coaching staff from 2015-2021. He worked his way up from offensive assistant in 2015 to tight ends coach from 2017-2021 under former OC Josh McDaniels. Caley is seen as a rising young offensive mind, helping to guide the Rams passing game the last two seasons under head coach Sean McVay.
Robinson also comes from the McVay coaching tree, working with the Rams since 2019. He helped oversee an explosive Rams passing attack led by quarterback Matthew Stafford. Prior to joining the Rams, Robinson played quarterback in the NFL and CFL.
The Patriots are looking to reinvigorate their offense after longtime coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. New England is trying to further develop young quarterback Mac Jones as he enters his second NFL season.
O’Brien Takes Ohio State Job
The Patriots also had interest in former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien for the position. However, O’Brien instead opted to return to the college ranks, agreeing this week to become the new OC at Ohio State.
O’Brien was seen as the early frontrunner to replace McDaniels given his previous success running the Patriots offense and relationship with Mayo. But the Buckeyes made an aggressive push for O’Brien with a lucrative contract offer that New England apparently declined to match.
Parker Interviews for DC Position
On the defensive side of the ball, Mayo interviewed Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker for the Patriots’ vacant defensive coordinator job on Friday. Parker has coached the Denver secondary for the last three seasons under head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Mayo is also reportedly set to meet with Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Tem Lukabu over the weekend to discuss the DC opening. Lukabu joined the Panthers staff in 2022 after spending the previous four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Boston College.
The interest in Parker and Lukabu signals that Mayo will look outside the organization to bring in a new voice to lead the Patriots defense. Retiring coach Bill Belichick had served as de facto defensive coordinator for most of his tenure in New England.
|Hired by Ohio St.
|Scheduled for weekend
Rebuilding the Coaching Staff
Mayo faces the tall task of essentially rebuilding the Patriots coaching staff this offseason after the departure of many longtime New England assistants.
In addition to the coordinator openings, longtime running backs coach Ivan Fears announced his retirement while quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree, tight ends coach Nick Caley, and offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo have all taken jobs with other teams.
On the defensive side, it remains to be seen if Mayo will retain former defensive assistants DeMarcus Covington, Jerod Mayo, and Steve Belichick in their current roles or shuffle the staff.
Mayo does intend to retain special teams coordinator Cam Achord, who has led the Patriots special teams units since 2021.
Big Expectations in Post-Belichick Era
Despite losing Belichick in addition to both coordinators, expectations remain high in New England heading into Mayo’s first season leading the team. The Patriots still have a strong defense and run game as the foundation of the team. And quarterback Mac Jones showed promise as a rookie, throwing for over 3,500 yards and 22 touchdowns.
All eyes will be on who Mayo hires at OC and DC and how they work to take the Patriots offense and defense to the next level. The AFC is loaded with talent, so it won’t be an easy path. But Mayo knows the culture and winning pedigree in New England. Now we will see if the former All-Pro linebacker can guide the Patriots back to championship contention.
This is a pivotal offseason for the franchise. But Mayo has already shown decisiveness and diligence in tackling the immense challenges before him.
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