New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

As new New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo works to build out his coaching staff, he needs to find coordinators for all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams. Of the team’s four reported interviews so far, three have been for the defensive job.

On Friday two more were added to that list. Mayo and the Patriots will interview Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker for the role on Friday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday morning. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported the team also plans to speak with New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges.


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Parker, 32, would be one of the youngest coordinators in the NFL if hired. He’s spent the last three seasons as the Denver Broncos’ defensive backs coach, with the team not employing a specific cornerbacks coach or safeties coach during that time. That’s something that could stand out to the Patriots, given over the last few years their secondary players have made a point of referring to themselves as ‘defensive backs’ and not considering themselves corners or safeties (a number of players in the unit split their time between the two spots).

Prior to joining the Broncos Parker was a defensive quality control coach with the Green Bay Packers starting in 2019. While there he was assigned to coordinate the Packers’ scout team by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Prior to that he worked at the college level with stops at Virginia State, Norfolk State, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.

  • Aug 5, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 5, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Hodges, 37, has been the Saints linebackers coach since 2020 and has been on the team’s defensive coaching staff since 2017. In his time as the team’s linebackers coach the Saints have finished top 10 in in the league in defensive scoring each year.

    Prior his time in New Orleans Hodges spent three years at Eastern Illinois, with stops at Fresno State and Texas A&M before that. He played college football at A&M, transferring there after walking on at Air Force.

    These are the team’s second and third interviews for the defensive coordinator position. Last week is was reportedly they also planned on speaking with Carolina Panthers linebacker coach Tem Lukabu for the job.

  • Of the three defensive coordinator candidates the Patriots have interviewed, none have NFL defensive coordinator experience. While Mayo could be looking for a younger coaching staff, these kinds of interviews can often be for positions beyond the coordinator job (like last year, when the Patriots interviewed Adrian Klemm for OC then hired him as offensive line coach).

    As ESPN’s Mike Reiss pointed out on Friday morning, the Patriots have a clear in-house candidate for defensive coordinator in defensive line coach DeMarcus Covington (who worked with Hodges at Eastern Illinois). If Covington gets the job, it still wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the coaches the Patriots are interviewing end up on his defensive staff.

    As for the other coordinator spots, the Patriots requested to interview Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams for the same job in New England. That’s the team’s only other reported interview as of Friday morning. The offensive coordinator job only formally opened on Thursday night, so there have been no reported interviews there yet. We do have a list of potential candidates, which you can find here.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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