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Patriots Interviewing Defensive Coordinator Candidates

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New England Patriots outside linebackers coach DeMarcus Covington works along the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

While Jerod Mayo was the New England Patriots de facto defensive coordinator in 2023, the team will be naming an official defensive coordinator in 2024. There have been three reported interviews, or interview requests, with people to fill that role.

The coaches contacted so far have been: Tem Lukabu (Panthers Outside Linebackers Coach), Christian Parker (Broncos Defensive Backs Coach), and Michael Hodges (Saints Linebackers Coach).

Lukabu was the only one of these options listed among the Six Defensive Coordinator Candidates for Jerod Mayo. The only reason Lukabu was included there was because his interview had already been announced. However, that list focused mainly on two qualities that these three candidates do not have: Experience as a defensive coordinator and/or ties to the Patriots organization.

If New England opts to go for a DC with no prior experience, DeMarcus Covington is a member of the 2023 staff who deserves consideration. Covington is only 34-years old, but has been with the Patriots organization since 2017. After two years as a coaching assistant, he became the outside linebackers coach in 2019. Covington has coached the defensive line the past four seasons. Christian Barmore blossomed into a star under his tutelage.

The three known outside candidates are all on the younger side, with Lukabu being the oldest option at 42. Hodges is 37 and Parker is 32. When Jerod Mayo cited diversity in the workplace during his introductory press conference, he noted age as a demographic. Clearly the New England Patriots are not afraid to bring in some younger voices.

The Patriots requested an interview with Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams. Atlanta reportedly blocked Williams from interviewing with the New York Giants. They have since allowed their staff to interview with other teams.