It looks like Robert Kraft is going to empower new head coach Jerod Mayo to make changes to the New England Patriots coaching staff.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport followed up a report that the Patriots will interview Carolina Panthers outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu for their defensive coordinator position with another report stating the Patriots have requested an interview with Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Marquice Williams for the same role with the Patriots.

Williams, 38, spent the last three seasons coordinating Atlanta’s special teams. Prior to that, he was on Matt Patricia’s Detroit Lions staff as an assistant special teams coach for two seasons. Williams got his start in the NFL in 2016 with the Chargers, spending three seasons with them as an assistant special teams coach and served as a defensive assistant in 2018.

Williams has been a popular choice among teams looking to revamp their special teams. The New York Giants reportedly requested an interview with Williams for their special teams coordinator job last week, but were denied by the Falcons. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler noted the Falcons want to have the option of keeping Williams as they search for a new head coach after firing Arthur Smith.

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Strong special teams play used to be a staple under Bill Belichick, but the unit cratered in recent seasons. Rookie kicker Chad Ryland was among the worst kickers in the league — he hit 16-of-25 field goals — this season while rookie punter Bryce Baringer offered mixed results. Core special teamer Brenden Schooler did earn NFLPA honors, but was repeatedly flagged, a common theme for a unit that routinely made mistakes.

Cam Achord, Joe Judge and special teams assistant Joe Houston presided over the unit this season.

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