Assistant Will Interview For The Defensive Coordinator Position With The Patriots

Assistant Will Interview For The Defensive Coordinator Position With The Patriots

As of now, head coach Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots is seeking a new coaching staff; however, one or more of his lead assistants may be readily available to him.

It could very well be an individual with whom he has a fairly close relationship. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports that the Patriots intend to interview defensive line teacher DeMarcus Covington regarding the vacant defensive coordinator position.

Covington’s tenure with New England predates that of Mayo, having joined in 2017 as a coaching assistant. In 2019, following several years of retirement, Mayo rejoined the staff of the Patriots.

Before he was appointed outside linebackers coach in 2019, the 34-year-old served as an administrative coaching assistant for two years.

Since then, his career has been relatively consistent. Throughout that particular season, he collaborated closely with Mayo, the linebackers’ head coach.

In 2020, Covington transitioned to the role of a defensive lineman, a position he has held for the past four seasons.

During that time, he observed the development of players such as Keion White and Christian Barmore.

The Samford alum led the Patriots to one of the NFL’s top run defenses during the previous season.

The Patriots are rumored to be conducting interviews with Saints linebackers teacher Michael Hodges and Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker in consideration for the defensive coordinator role.

Mayo has initiated communication regarding the position with Tem Lukabu, the Panther’s tackles coach and former defensive coordinator at Boston College.

The timing of these interviews and Mayo’s intention to name this defensive coordinator remain uncertain.

Beginning his illustrious career at Virginia State in 2013, he devoted the majority of his professional tenure to coaching defensive backs for the Packers from 2019 to 20 before joining the Broncos the following season.

After his selection in 2021, Denver cornerback Patrick Surtain II guided the team to back-to-back Pro Bowls. He earned a spot on the All-Pro team in 2022.

Hodges previously served as co-defensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois for a year under Patriots defensive end coach DeMarcus Covington.

For the past four years, Hodges, 37, has been the head linebackers coach for the Saints. In 2017, Hodges started his tenure in New Orleans as an entry-level defensive assistant and earned a promotion to senior linebackers coach in 2019.

Hodges, similar to Lukabu and Parker, lacks experience working as an NFL defensive coordinator and as the head coach of the Patriots’ defensive system. Parker, 32 years old, recently concluded his third season as secondary coach for Denver.

From within the organization, defensive play-callers Steve Belichick and Covington continue to be regarded as the leading candidates for the position of Mayo’s inaugural defensive coordinator.
Covington, 34, has coached defensive linemen and linebackers since his 2017 signing with the Patriots as their defensive assistant.

Last season, he participated in a defensive coordinator interview with the Cardinals, and Patriots players have lauded him as a potential future head coach.

“That is undoubtedly what I aspire to accomplish shortly,” Covington stated. “One reason I entered this field was to attempt to influence men. That is the goal I strive to achieve.

Thus, as we progress through this process, the progression from position coach to coordinator to head coach is evident: a desire to lead a team. That is undoubtedly among my objectives.

“As for when that may be, I have no idea.” My plan is not in place. God’s intentions for me are certain.

“The nature of those plans is unknown to me.” Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon lauded Covington highly during the offseason when asked about their interview at the NFL Combine.

“His interview went tremendously well. “I gained a great deal of knowledge,” Gannon remarked. “I even advised coach (Bill) Belichick that, after that incident, he would know how to coach teammates because this individual was involved.” “The interview was extremely interesting to me.”

In a theoretical scenario, the Patriots might consider employing assistants such as Lukabu, Parker, or Hodges in non-coordinator roles upon title changes or contract expiration.

Mayo diverged from Belichick during his introductory news conference on Wednesday by stating that he considers titles to be important for the coaching staff. Since 2017, the Patriots have yet to formally designate a defensive coordinator.

“Titles are essential,” Mayo maintained. “Coach Belichick, who has served as an immense mentor to me as a player and a colleague throughout the years, deserves no criticism.”

In other words, I consider titles to be significant and outwardly focused. Regarding the interior of the building, however, your title is irrelevant. “That, in my opinion, is the most critical factor.”