Patriots defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington will head to Mobile, Alabama in two weeks to serve as one of the defensive coordinators at the Senior Bowl. This will be the first season that full NFL coaching staffs will not be coaching the game. Instead, under a new format to help promote professional development, NFL Football Operations has instituted a new "coach up" format where NFL assistants will be placed in elevated or different roles than they hold with their respective teams.
Covington will be the American team's defensive coordinator under head coach Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, while Falcons quarterbacks coach Charles London will serve as the team's offensive coordinator. Former Patriots assistant and current Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will be the National team's head coach with Saints QB coach Ronald Curry (offensive coordinator) and Steelers DB coach Grady Brown (defensive coordinator) serving under him.
"Everyone at the Senior Bowl is excited about this new coaching format since it connects our players to half the league's teams behind the scenes during the week," said Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy. "Both Luke Getsy and Patrick Graham have tremendous reputations around the league and the young men in our game will undoubtedly leave Mobile as better football players after spending the week with these excellent staffs."
Covington has been with the Patriots since 2017 and has served as the defensive line coach since 2020 after getting his start as a coaching assistant for two seasons and then the outside linebackers coach for one. In his time with the team, the Patriots have consistently put together one of the best defenses in the league and Covington is beginning to get more and more recognition for his work. Last year, he and Patriots Pro Scouting Director Steve Cargile were the Patriots' two representatives at the NFL's inaugural Coaching and Front Office Accelerator Program.
"DeMarcus does a really good job," said head coach Bill Belichick when asked about Covington this past season. "He's coached linebackers, coached defensive line, really understands the entire defense. I'm sure he could coach a lot of positions on defense. Young guy that's really smart, works hard. Has worked with, again, a lot of different types of players, even on our defensive line. That difference between our interior guys and our outside guys is quite distinct. Pass rush, pass coverage, interior run play, so forth.... It's a lot of different techniques to coach. He's very well versed in the fundamentals and schemes. He does a good job. Really glad we have him."
As he continues to accrue valuable experience, Covington is a name to watch on the NFL's coaching circuit and a rising star on the Patriots coaching staff. With the rest of New England staff slated to be in Las Vegas for the Shrine Bowl, Covington will give the team a fresh set of eyes on the field in Alabama with some of the year's top prospects. Together, the combined experience should give the Patriots as much exposure to the 2023 draft class as any staff in the league, something that should provide a significant boost as the team looks to make the most of their projected 11 draft picks.