The New England Patriots moved swiftly this week to begin assembling a coaching staff around new head coach Jerod Mayo. The 36-year-old Mayo was named as Bill Belichick’s successor earlier this month after serving as the team’s inside linebackers coach since 2019.
Offensive Coordinator Still Up in the Air
Mayo’s first order of business was finding replacements for former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who left to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, and former defensive signal caller Steve Belichick, who followed his father Bill to the Atlanta Falcons.
The offensive coordinator role is still vacant after initial favorite Bill O’Brien made a last-minute decision to remain in his current position with Ohio State rather than return to New England.
Names still in mix include:
- Zac Robinson, Rams QB Coach
- Shane Waldron, Seahawks OC
- Wes Welker, Dolphins WR Coach
- Keenan McCardell, Vikings WR Coach
- James Saxon, Cardinals RB Coach
Mayo played coy about the offensive coordinator spot in a recent mailbag with reporters:
“We’ve got a lot of great candidates and we’re taking our time to make sure we bring in the right person for the job. The offense is obviously really important so we don’t want to rush into this decision.”
Most league insiders believe Mayo will opt for an experienced NFL play-caller to help ease his transition into the head coaching ranks.
Mayo Interviews Defensive Coordinator Candidates
On the defensive side, Mayo has already lined up interviews with two current NFL assistants – Michael Hodges of the Saints and Christian Parker of the Broncos.
Michael Hodges has worked his way up on the Saints staff after joining as a defensive assistant in 2016, working closely under defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. Hodges has earned praise for his work coaching the Saints linebacking group the past two seasons.
Christian Parker is coming off his first year as the Broncos defensive backs coach. The 32-year-old previously worked for the Rams from 2017-2022 and has earned recognition around the league as an up-and-comer.
Mayo figures to favor a coach with experience specifically coaching linebackers, given his own background at the position. But he said he is keeping an open mind in terms of defensive scheme and overall coaching philosophy.
Now that the coordinator search is underway, next on Mayo’s checklist will be filling out the rest of his staff. Expect plenty of familiar faces to return, including long-time assistants such as offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, running backs coach Ivan Fears, and special teams coordinator Cam Achord.
But Mayo will also look to bring in some new voices, perhaps dipping into the college ranks to add an element of unpredictability to the Patriots program after two decades of stability under Belichick.
No matter who he taps for his staff, Mayo will be under pressure to show progress in his first year at the helm. After missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, expectations are high in New England for a quick turnaround back to contender status.
Early 2024 Power Rankings
|Kansas City Chiefs
|Los Angeles Chargers
|New England Patriots
While the Patriots aren’t yet viewed as Super Bowl favorites, Mayo has them headed in the right direction. This initial coordinator hiring process will set the tone for his debut campaign on the New England sideline.
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