Could Denver Broncos Eye New England Patriots Assistant For Head Coach Vacancy?

The Patriots’ defensive coach finished as a finalist for the position last offseason.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

The Denver Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday and could look to a Patriots defensive assistant to fill that vacancy this offseason.

Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo has been named as an up-and-coming head coach candidate in the last several years, interviewing for several openings, including the Broncos last offseason, where it was reported he was a finalist before they eventually hired Hackett.

Broncos general manager George Paton had glowing reviews of Mayo last offseason.

“He has a dynamic personality, really bright, really smart, knows what he wants,” Paton told the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan. “I think he’s only coached three years, but he really had an interesting, unique perspective about how he’d do things. I really enjoyed the visit.”

Mayo recently described being an NFL head coach as “still the goal.” 

“I think I’m ready to be a head coach in the league,” Mayo told reporters in a video conference, as transcribed by NESN’s Zach Cox.

These comments should come as no surprise, as Mayo’s been in the running for head coach positions two years in a row and there have been plenty of reasons to believe he’ll make another run this winter.

Mayo is “bursting at the seems to spread his wings,” according to NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran a few weeks ago.

Mayo, along with Steve Belichick, run New England’s defense, though neither officially hold a coordinator title. The Patriots’ defense ranks fifth in opponent points per game and eighth in yards allowed per game. The unit has largely kept New England’s stagnant offense within striking distance this season. 

It remains unclear if Mayo will be a leading candidate for the Denver vacancy for a second consecutive offseason. However, what is clear is that the Patriots have a rising coaching star on their staff. Based on the way that both he and other teams around the league are talking, he may not be on New England’s sideline much longer.