Jerod Mayo already is at work trying to fill his staff in his first season as Patriots head coach, and a “rising” coach reportedly will be interviewed.

Mayo on Wednesday formally was introduced as head coach following Bill Belichick parting ways with New England the week before.

Bill O’Brien left his position as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach to take the offensive coordinator job at Ohio State. Mayo stressed the importance of titles, so he will plan on naming coordinators.

The Patriots haven’t had an official defensive coordinator since Matt Patricia left after the 2017 season. New England previously interviewed Carolina Panthers linebackers coach Tem Lukabu, and it scheduled interviews with Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker and New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, respectively.

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Hodges was an intriguing name for New Orleans media, and it appears the linebackers coach might not only have a meeting with New England.

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“… This feels interesting on a lot of levels because Hodges feels like one of the rising stars within the Saints coaching ranks,” Nick Underhill of New Orleans Football Network said. “He’s done a great job developing linebackers over the year. His players tend to getter, and he gets them in position to go off and get paid by other teams. And he seems to be somebody that’s a great culture builder, has a great feel on what it takes to succeed and does feel ready to take the next step in his career. Will it come now? That’s still to be determined, but at some point, Hodges does feel like someone that’s going to move on to a big opportunity whether that’s now or later.”

Mayo appears to be trying to shift the culture of New England by being upfront and showing how different he will be from Belichick. The Patriots already feature a talented crop of defensive players, but if Mayo is seeking others to help build a new identity, Hodges could be the man to help do that as defensive coordinator.

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Featured image via Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports Images