NBC Sports

Perry's Mailbag: More OC candidates for Patriots to consider

NBC Sports

The New England Patriots' search for an offensive coordinator is underway. They will begin interviewing for the OC position this week while finalizing contract extension discussions with linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.

Other than Bill O'Brien, who could the Patriots consider for the OC job? And does a long-term extension for Mayo set him up to be New England's next head coach?

We answer those pressing questions and many more in the latest mailbag. Let's jump in...

If I had to pick a favorite, yes. As we wrote last week, Jerod Mayo wants to be in New England. He wants to be a head coach. He's now eschewing a head-coaching interview in Carolina to remain in Foxboro. Let's use our powers of deductive reasoning to assume the Kraft family sees him as head-coaching material. Without promising him that he'll be the next man up whenever Bill Belichick decides he's done, ownership can let Mayo know how much they appreciate him, encourage him to stick around, and perhaps give him his dream job when the time is right.

Curran: Patriots' early offseason approach should trigger optimism

A lot can happen between now and whenever Belichick feels as though it's time to step away, but if we're talking favorites, start with Mayo.

I'm leaning Curran here because Giardi has essentially become a Buffalo resident (and doing fine work out there, I should add). If he's offended by this answer, he's a seven-hour ride away. Curran just has to reach across the desk to give me a slap.


Like him a lot. I actually had him on the old Quick Slants podcast back in 2018 to talk to us about one of his former players: Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph. Comes from a well-respected system. Mark Daniels of Mass Live reported that the Patriots hadn't yet reached out to him by Monday afternoon, but he'd make a lot of sense for the Patriots if they wanted to dive headlong into the West Coast system they tried to make work this past season.

A few more names to keep in mind: Keenan McCardell, who is the Vikings receivers coach and should be interviewing for coordinator gigs soon; Chad O'Shea, former Patriots receivers coach and Dolphins offensive coordinator, who is in a West Coast system now as passing game coordinator in Cleveland; Drew Petzing, Browns quarterbacks coach who interviewed to be Josh McDaniels' OC in Vegas last year and has worked under Kevin Stefanski in a West Coast system going back to Stefanski's time in Minnesota.

Two of the names that have been mentioned to me as players who have A) the production and B) the leadership skills to help mitigate the potential losses of those two vets: Jakobi Meyers and Jonathan Jones. The only issue? Neither is under contract.

Rhamondre Stevenson and Kyle Dugger are two more whose names I've heard when the leadership discussion pops up. They're good players. They've done things the right way in their time with the team. If both Meyers and Jones are gone this offseason, then perhaps one or both of those younger up-and-comers become captains to join Mac Jones, David Andrews, Deatrich Wise and Ja'Whaun Bentley.

If the Patriots hire Bill O'Brien, it'd be hard for me to envision those two reuniting. Never say never, Nicholas. DeAndre Hopkins and Bill Belichick aren't all that far removed from proclaiming their love for one another out in Glendale, Arizona. Belichick traded Jamie Collins away and then welcomed him back with open arms. More than once. But the next offensive coordinator for the Patriots should have some say in major moves impacting that side of the ball, and adding Hopkins might be viewed as a non-starter for a guy who a few years ago traded the wideout for what amounted to a second-rounder and a running back.


They could. He's that talented. Will they? I know there are people with the team who hope he'll have the opportunity to thrive defensively before he picks up a more extensive offensive role. He had to do A LOT toward the end of the year. He was on his feet all night in Arizona, playing defense and then standing behind the offensive coaches as a potential sub. That's a lot to ask of a young player, and it'd be difficult for him to maximize his ability on one side of ball if he's focused on preparing for both.

Depends on how you define "one of," right? They were a top-five team in yards allowed per rush attempt and a top-10 team in yards allowed per pass attempt. They finished third in defensive DVOA by Football Outsiders. They were third in defensive EPA per play. They were Pro Football Focus' ninth-highest graded defense.

If he gets a title change, and I can tell you that's not his priority, I'm not sure it would be defensive coordinator. My guess -- and what I suggested last week -- was that it was assistant head coach or associate head coach. That way perhaps Steve Belichick could receive a defensive coordinator title and retain his duties as play-caller on that side of the ball.

One of the best pass-rushing units in football. They finished sixth in pressure rate, per Pro Football Reference.

So hard to find capable players at that position that I think they'd keep him around and hope he's a more consistent performer than he was a season ago.

Chiefs and Niners. Chiefs take it. Patrick Mahomes is a wizard. Ditto for Andy Reid.

It's my understanding there wasn't the same kind of freedom this year that there was a season ago. You saw Mac Jones "alert" plays at the line of scrimmage. Maybe it's a run check away from pressure. Maybe it's a pass check from a man-beating concept to a zone-beating one. But it'll be interesting to see if he has the ability to do even more come 2023, depending on his play-caller.

Appreciate you, Roderick. Sounds like Kingsbury is off to the beach and ain't coming back any time soon. Good for him. Not sure I'd be dying to work 20-hour days in Foxboro if I had a contract paying me millions of dollars through 2027, either. 

They can't hire an offensive coordinator without going through that process, Gal. By announcing they'd be hiring an OC the way they did, they acknowledged they'd be going about things in a more by-the-book manner this offseason. 

Touched on that here, Andrew. I think he'll fall somewhere in the $11-$13 million per year range, and yes, they should pay it. In my opinion.

Hire Bill O'Brien. Sign Mike McGlinchey. Re-sign Jakobi Meyers.


If signing Meyers doesn't look like it'll happen, would the Patriots ever try to trade for a wideout from the 2020 draft class who's headed into the last year of his rookie deal? Tee Higgins, perhaps, if the Bengals realize they can't pay both Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase? Jerry Jeudy, reuniting him with Mac Jones? Donovan Peoples-Jones, who was just a sixth-round pick but turned in an impressive 2022 with Jacoby Brissett mostly behind center? Maybe there's an opportunity there to land a real threat on the perimeter.

I'm going with Miami. The Niners are the best team for him right now. Loaded. Ready to win. Would be a storybook ending to his career, finishing it up in front of his parents for his hometown team. But I'm assuming he wants to stay on this coast. Don't be surprised if the Jets try to get into the mix...

Not sure how it'll play out. Billy Yates was essentially the offensive line coach this year after it was clear that Patricia couldn't handle both the line and coordinating/play-calling duties. Yates could be back. If O'Brien is coordinator, though, his best buddy Doug Marrone would be a fascinating addition as line coach. They are thick as thieves and were roommates as assistants at Alabama. There would be all kinds of trust there walking into the building together. Bill Belichick has also been a Marrone fan over the years so this would make plenty of sense. Keep an eye on that situation.