The Patriots made sure to cross all their T’s and dot all their I’s, but it appears their first pick for defensive coordinator was always right there in front of them.

New England defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington is in for a promotion.

The Patriots reportedly have “called other candidates to tell them they’re out” as “all signs point to” them promoting Covington early next week, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. In the end, New England’s first interview ended up being its best.

It was shortly after Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo was promoted that Covington became a candidate, though New England gave him some competition. The Patriots also interviewed Carolina Panthers outside linebackers coach Tem Lukabu, Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker, New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges and Pittsburgh Steelers assistant defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander.

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It’s expected that Hodges, who worked with Covington at Eastern Illinois in 2016, could be a candidate to join New England’s coaching staff.

Covington’s time on New England’s staff actually predates Mayo’s, as he joined as a coaching assistant in 2017. Mayo, after a few years of retirement, joined the Patriots’ staff in 2019. Covington, much like his new boss did before landing the Patriots job, has been clear in his desire to become a head coach one day.

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The Patriots still have openings on offense and special teams, interviewing a number of candidates for each position, as well.

Covington reportedly will officially be hired next week.

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Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images