Jerod Mayo is quickly getting to work after his introduction as the Patriots 15th head coach earlier this week, with multiple reports that the team has begun interviewing coordinator candidates for the defense and special teams. With other reported news that offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will move on from New England to Ohio State to take over their offense, the Patriots coordinator search will likely become even more expansive in the coming days.
These early indications show that Mayo is looking at an intriguing cross-section of some of the best and brightest young coaches from around the league as he rebuilds the Patriots coaching staff.
Here's a rundown of the latest reported interviews and interview requests:
Offensive Coordinator: Klint Kubiak (via Albert Breer/MMQB)
Kubiak is the son of long-time NFL coach Gary Kubiak and spent this past season as the 49ers passing game specialist. He spent 2022 as the pass game coordinator for the Broncos, while he was Minnesota's offensive coordinator in 2021 and quarterback coach from 2019-202. While many on the list of interviews can trace their roots to Kyle Shannahan, Kubiak's connection goes through his father and back to Mike Shanahan, the original head coach to bring the wide zone rushing scheme to the NFL. Kubiak has held a coordinator's role already and has a good cross-section of experience in different attacks around the NFL. His work with Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins in 2021 is a nice feather in his cap.
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Turner (via Albert Breer/MMQB)
Turner was the Raiders pass game coordinator last season under Josh McDaniels, with previous stops as the Commanders offensive coordinator (2020-2022) and the quarterbacks coach with both the Vikings (20-14-2016) and Panthers (2018-2019). Turner is the son of long-time NFL coach Norv Turner, who ran an offshoot of the Air Coryell during his successful career that included championships with the Cowboys of the early 1990's. In that regard, Turner is one of the few candidates that is not coming directly from an offshoot of the Shanahan tree.
Offensive Coordinator: Luke Getsy (via Jeremy Fowler/ESPN)
Adding another coordinator candidate with significant experience in the Shanahan offense. Getsy most recently spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator in Chicago, where he struggled at times to maximize Justin Fields. Before moving on to run the offense with the Bears, Getsy worked under Packers head coach Matt LaFleur as Green Bay's quarterbacks coach and eventually their pass-game coordinator. LaFleur's scheme overlaps with the McVay/Shanahan offenses, using an outside zone run scheme as a base to produce big plays off play-action along with a West Coast drop-back passing game. Getsy also recently interviewed with the Raiders for their vacant offensive coordinator position, so there's interest around the league despite the offense's struggles in Chicago. From this perspective, Fields wasn't a good fit for a scheme predicated on passing precision in the middle of the field. That's not absolving Getsy of all wrongdoing, but the pair wasn't a match.
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Fleury (via Tom Pelissero/NFL Network)
Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo continues to show interest in the Shanahan tree with Fleury as the latest reported interview from the 49ers or Rams coaching staffs. Fleury has 13 seasons of coaching experience on both sides of the ball, working with the 49ers tight ends over the last two seasons. Fleury also has an extensive background as a quality control coach, where he worked with the 49ers coaches on game-planning for upcoming opponents. San Francisco's offense is very similar to the coordinator candidates from the McVay tree, but some key differences exist. For example, the 49ers base offense is out of heavy personnel groupings such as two-back sets (21 personnel) with fullback Kyle Juszczyk, whereas LA bases its offense almost exclusively out of three-receiver sets. Either way, Mayo is showing significant interest in this style of offense.
Offensive Coordinator: Tanner Engstrand (via Ian Rapoport/NFL Network)
According to NFL Network, the Patriots will reportedly interview the Lions's pass-game coordinator for their vacant offensive coordinator position. Engstrand is an up-and-coming coach due to his recent work under Lions OC Ben Johnson, who many expect to be named the Commander's next head coach. That could mean Engstrand is next in line to replace Johnson in Detroit, but it's still worth trying to latch onto a highly successful scheme. Detroit's call sheet of running plays is as versatile as any offense in the NFL, and they do a great job of marrying play-action concepts off those runs while attacking the middle of the field in the passing game. With motion, false tells, and run fakes, the Lions are a smash-mouth football team with a new-age flair. That would be an exciting way to adapt the current Patriots system to the modern NFL.
Offensive Coordinator: Thomas Brown (via Jonathan Jones/CBS Sports)
Add another offensive coordinator candidate who has worked for Rams head coach Sean McVay to the list. Brown was with the Rams for three seasons (2020-2022), holding multiple titles on McVay's staff. First, Brown was LA's running backs coach (2020-21) before moving over to tight ends (2022) while holding the assistant head coach title for his final two seasons with the Rams. Brown coordinated the Panthers offense this past season under former head coach Frank Reich. According to reports, Brown is still under contract with Carolina. However, the Panthers hired former Bucs OC Dave Canales as their new head coach, so Brown is now interviewing for other jobs. Although his year in Carolina went poorly, the 37-year-old will be a head coach, assuming his career bounces back from a rough season with the Panthers.
Offensive Coordinator: Jerrod Johnson (via Jonathan Jones/CBS Sports)
New England reportedly interviewed the Texans quarterbacks coach, an intriguing candidate for several reasons. As a former NFL quarterback, Johnson has received credit from Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud for his work with the expected NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Given that the Patriots are likely to select a quarterback in next year's draft, hiring Johnson to put the Pats rookie through the same regiment as Stroud is an enticing proposition. Furthermore, Johnson has worked under Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik as a part of the McVay/Shanahan coaching tree. Johnson checks most boxes: an up-and-coming offensive mind, a history of developing quarterbacks, and experience in the McVay/Shanahan offense.
Offensive Coordinator: Dan Pitcher (via Ian Rapoport/NFL Network)
The Bengals quarterbacks coach is reportedly on tap to have a Zoom interview with head coach Jerod Mayo this week, but Pitcher may not make it far in the process. Why? The Titans hired Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as Tennessee's next head coach, and Pitcher is considered the top candidate to replace Callahan as the Bengals offensive coordinator. Unless a succession plan is written in Pitcher's contract, Cincinnati will need to conduct a formal search for an offensive coordinator, so Pitcher will likely interview elsewhere. Still, the expectation is that he'll remain with the Bengals as their new offensive coordinator. If Pitcher does shake free, he will follow a theme of the Patriots showing interest in installing a West Coast system. Cincy runs less under-center than the rest of the Shanahan tree, but many of their core drop-back passing concepts are similar to the Rams assistants who are also interviewing with New England.
Offensive Coordinator: Zac Robinson (via Albert Breer/MMQB)
Fans will probably remember the name as Robinson was a Patriots draft pick in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Although he only spent the summer in New England, Robinson would've overlapped with head coach Jerod Mayo as players. After his playing days, Robinson has worked in the football business as a quarterback consultant and analyst at Pro Football Focus. He then joined Rams head coach Sean McVay's staff in 2019. Robinson has coached quarterbacks and wide receivers and has officially been the Ram's pass-game coordinator since 2022. Robinson could bring the McVay offense to New England, while a package deal with former Patriots assistant coach Nick Caley would be excellent.
Offensive Coordinator: Nick Caley (via Adam Schefter/ESPN)
According to a Sunday report from Adam Schefter, the Patriots first offensive coordinator interview will take place early this week with former in-house tight end coach Nick Caley. Caley was with the Patriots from 2015-2022 before departing and spending last season under Sean McVay at the Rams. That could serve as valuable experience with an offense outside of the Patriots system, giving Caley a unique exposure to a different kind of attack.
Defensive Coordinator: DeMarcus Covington (via Jonathan Jones/NFL on CBS)
Covington has been on the Patriots staff since 2017 and has coached arguably the best-performing unit on the team. 2023's stout run defense was led by Covington's defensive line, while third-year player Christian Bamore had a breakout season. Last year, Covington served as a defensive coach at the Senior Bowl and has been earning recognition as a promising young coach in the game. He was notably present at Mayo's introductory press conference on Wednesday and now, according to reports, will get a chance to interview for a bigger role with the team.
Defensive Coordinator: Michael Hodges (via Ian Rapoport/NFL Network)
Hodges, 37, has coached the New Orleans Saints linebackers for the past four seasons, playing a key role in their defensive success as a top-10 scoring defense in each of those years, with inside linebacker Demario Davis twice making second-team All-Pro selections under his tutelage. He has been with the Saints since 2017, with previous coaching stops at Fresno State and Eastern Illinois, where he served with Patriots defensive line coach Demarcus Covington as co-defensive coordinator in 2016.
Defensive Coordinator: Christian Parker (via Tom Pelissero/NFL Network)
Parker served as defensive backs coach at Virginia State from 2013-2014, and then at Norfolk State from 2015-2016. He jumped to a defensive analyst position at Notre Dame in 2017 before moving on to Texas A&M in 2018. He began in the NFL as a defensive quality control coach for the Packers in 2019 and 2020, then landed in Denver in 2021 to coach the Broncos' defensive backs. Parker is just 32 years old and considered one of the young rising star coaches around the league. He played a key role in transitioning the Broncos defense under new head coach Sean Payton this past season.
Defensive Coordinator: Tem Lukabu (via Ian Rapoport/NFL Network)
Lukabu, 42, is currently the Carolina Panthers' outside linebackers coach and also served as Boston College's defensive coordinator on Jeff Hafley's staff from 2020-2022. In 2021, BC boasted one of the best defenses in the league, finishing 4th in total defense (343.8 ypg), 1st in passing defense (173.5 ypg), 9th in rushing defense (170.3 ypg), and 3rd in scoring defense (22.2 ppg). Lukabu is scheduled to serve as the West team's defensive coordinator at the Shrine Bowl next week, while Patriots wide receiver coach Troy Brown will coordinate the offensive side of the ball for the West team as well. Lukabu had previous NFL stops with the 49ers and Bengals, coaching linebackers for both teams.
Special Teams: Jeremy Springer (via Ian Rapoport/NFL Network)
Springer, 34, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant special teams coach with the Rams. He was previously in the college ranks, first at Texas A&M (2015-2018) with the Aggies leading the nation in blocked kicks and punts in 2017. He moved to Arizona from 2018-20, then capped off a final year in college in 2021 at Marshall. Springer has been credited with strong work developing Rams kicker Matt Gay and punter Riley Dixon, who both turned in stellar seasons in 2022, Springer's first season.
Special Teams: Marquice Williams (requested interview, via Jonathan Jones/NFL on CBS)
Williams, 38, will serve as the East team head coach in next week's Shrine Bowl, where he'll face off against West coaches Lukabu and Brown. Williams broke into the league via the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, spending time with both the Bears and Lions early on. He was hired as an assistant special teams coach by the Chargers in 2017, spending three seasons in that role before returning to Detroit under head coach Matt Patricia in 2019. He's spent the last three seasons as the Falcons' special teams coordinator.
Special Teams: Thomas McGaughey (via Jordan Raanan/ESPN)
McGaughey has been the special team coordinator for the Giants for the past six seasons (2018-23), with previous stops at the Panthers (2016-17), 49ers (2015), Jets (2014) and LSU (2011-13). He is the most experienced of the initially reported special teams coordinator interviews.