Four Patriots Assistants Named As Head-Coaching Candidates

Jerod Mayo headlines the list


Nov 17, 2022

In four of the last five seasons, an assistant coach left the New England Patriots’ staff to become head coach of another NFL team.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero on Thursday spotlighted four current Patriots assistants who could follow suit, either this year or in the future.

In the latest edition of his annual list of young coaches to watch, Pelissero included New England linebackers coach Jerod Mayo as a head-coaching candidate in the upcoming hiring cycle.

That’s no surprise, as Mayo — who also made the list in 2021 and 2020 — landed head-coaching interviews in each of the last two years. Last winter, he met with the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos before those teams ultimately hired Josh McDaniels and Nathaniel Hackett, respectively.

The 36-year-old Mayo, who starred as a Patriots linebacker from 2008 to 2015, is in his fourth season as a coach. He and Steve Belichick serve as de facto co-defensive coordinators, though neither has that official title. The Patriots’ defense enters Week 11 ranked first in expected points added per play and third in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.

“When people ask me, ‘Is your goal to be a defensive coordinator?’ That’s not my goal,” Mayo said in a February radio interview. “My goal is not to be a defensive coordinator. My goal is to be a head coach.”

Three other Patriots assistants earned mentions as possible head-coaching candidates “in future years”: tight ends coach Nick Caley, defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington and assistant wide receivers coach Ross Douglas.

Caley and Covington have been with New England since 2015 and 2017, respectively. Caley is the longest-tenured member of the Patriots’ offensive staff, which underwent an overhaul following McDaniels’ departure. During training camp, Caley said that becoming an offensive coordinator is a “goal” of his.

Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux recently told that Covington will be a “great head coach one day.” Douglas, who joined the Patriots in 2021 as an NFL coaching fellow, is in his first season as a position coach, working alongside Troy Brown.

The Patriots will host the New York Jets this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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