No Belichick New England: Meet the Patriots New Coaching Staff

For the first time in 24 years, the New England Patriots find themselves without head coach Bill Belichick. This is not the same dynasty as it once was under Belichick, made possible by Tom Brady and their powerhouse roster to go ahead and win six Super Bowls.

As the Patriots move into a different era in their franchise, here is everything you need to know about the new-look coaching staff in New England.

No Belichick New England: Meet the Patriots New Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Jerod Mayo

Just a day after the departure of Bill Belichick on January 11, 2024, the Patriots went out and tabbed New England’s own Jerod Mayo as the 15th head coach in franchise history.

Mayo, a former linebacker under Belichick’s Patriots, spent his entire eight-year NFL career with New England. He was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, additionally becoming the only rookie from his class to start in Week 1 of the season. Mayo finished his first NFL season with 128 tackles and was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, but his honors did not stop there. He finished his career as a 2010 First-Team All-Pro, two-time Pro-Bowler, and a member of the Patriots’ All-2010s Team.

During the 2014 season, Mayo tore his patellar tendon and missed the Patriots’ win in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks, with injuries leading up to his retirement in February 2016. From there, he worked in finance for a healthcare services provider called Optum.

While Mayo garnered interest around the league for other available coaching roles after his retirement, his heart was in New England. In 2019, he rejoined the Patriots as an inside linebackers coach in 2019. After Belichick moved on out of New England, team owner Robert Kraft called him a “strong candidate” for head coach, making it apparent that Mayo was the heir to the position all along.

Mayo is also very well-respected within the Patriots organization, being described by Belichick himself as “the best communicator on defense we’ve ever had here.” Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon has also said that “he expects greatness from everyone. And he understands that greatness is only achievable for a day — or only achievable for a minute.”

With a rebuild the clear next step for the Patriots,  a Jerod Mayo-led New England is definitely something to look forward to in the upcoming future.

Offensive coordinator: Alex Van Pelt

Alex Van Pelt finds a new home in New England as the offensive coordinator, brought into the system not even three weeks after being let go by the Cleveland Browns in January.

Van Pelt spent four seasons with the Browns under head coach Kevin Stefanski, notably being Stefanski’s original choice for offensive coordinator when he took the job in 2020. Van Pelt joined Cleveland after a one-year stint as the quarterback’s coach with the Cincinnati Bengals. He also spent the previous five years as the quarterback coach for Green Bay.

During his time with the Browns, Van Pelt helped coach Baker Mayfield to his best season as a pro in 2020, also guiding now-Patriot quarterback Jacoby Brissett in 2022 to some pretty solid performances.

In 2023, Van Pelt impressively took a revolving door at the quarterback position with the Browns and turned it into the 12th-ranked scoring offense. Throughout the season, they started five different quarterbacks and still ended with an 11-6 record. Being described as the “glue of the staff” by many in the organization, it seems as though if quarterback Deshaun Watson wasn’t struggling that Van Pelt would likely still have a job in Cleveland.

The way that the Patriots offense has looked over the past few years, New England needs an experienced offensive play-caller like Van Pelt to turn things around as they look to rebuild. An offensive mind like his gives the Patriots a fresh start toward new success.

With all that being said, It’s still not going to be easy for Van Pelt in New England. He will definitely have his work cut out for him, attempting to rebuild a Patriots team that finished 2023 with the third-worst record in the league with an offensive ranking 30th overall.

Van Pelt’s effect on Drake Maye’s rookie season and the Patriots’ success will definitely be something to watch, especially with the additions of flashy receivers like Javon Baker and Ja’Lynn Polk.

Defensive coordinator: DeMarcus Covington

DeMarcus Covington enters his eighth season with the Patriots making the move from defensive line coach becoming the first defensive coordinator in New England since Matt Patricia in 2017.

For the past few seasons in New England, Mayo and Steve Belichick worked together to call and coordinate the Patriots defense, but with Mayo being named the head coach, there was no question whether the defensive coordinator position would go to someone already in the organization or not; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Patriots had a lot of issues as a team last year, but defense was not one of them. Despite Judon’s injury and other significant injuries in the secondary, Covington’s group of veteran defensive stars continued to play at an elite level all season.

Overall, the Patriots defense finished eighth in EPA, ninth in DVOA, and 15th in points. In this past season, Covington’s defensive line group was among the team’s best and most consistent units, finishing second overall in run defense EPA and third in run defense DVOA.

Christian Barmore broke out in 2023 under Covington, and Anfernee Jennings became one of the stoutest-edge players in the league. Players like Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy, and Deatrich Wise also all turned in strong seasons on the defensive end.

The Patriots defense finished in the top 10 in four of Covington’s five seasons as a position coach. Last year, the defense ranked fourth best against the run, allowing 93.2 yards per game, the team’s best finish since 2016 when they allowed 88.6 yards per game. The Patriots defense allowed just 3.3 yards per rush, the lowest in the NFL in 2023 and the lowest since 1970 for the Patriots.

With Covington taking over at the defensive coordinator position, there is no doubt that his and Mayo’s presence will allow the Patriots defensive core to stay among the league’s best.

Special teams coordinator: Jeremy Springer

The New England Patriots decided to fill another gap on their coaching staff by naming Jeremy Springer the next special teams coordinator. Springer was one of three coaches in consideration for the position and is the first external coach to join New England’s staff for the season.

Springer is a former assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams, where he was very active behind the scenes throughout his tenure in LA.

Although his track record in the NFL may not be the most impressive, with the Rams being among the league’s worst in special teams in back-to-back years with him, there are factors on and off the field that led to Mayo and the Patriots showing interest in his hiring.

Regardless of his time with the Rams, he was available and willing to come aboard, so he must’ve made a solid case for decision-makers in New England to give him a shot at success.

Main Image: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

5 3 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
5 3 votes
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x