The New England Patriots are parting ways with long-time head coach Bill Belichick. Arguably the greatest NFL head coach of all time. Belichick will end his Patriots tenure with 296 total wins, including six Super Bowl victories. New England has been a team of stability and tradition and now enters the realm of uncertainty as it embarks into a new era.
Let’s take a look at who should be on the shortlist for New England as they conduct their first coaching search this century.
Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
Position: Former Head coach
Vrabel returning home to New England just makes sense. The former linebacker played for the Patriots from 2001 to 2008. He has primarily been a defensive-minded coach, so he would likely go after a premiere offensive coordinator to try and turn around New England’s 4-13 record. Vrabel struggled with Tennessee the last two seasons but did win the NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2021, so he has shown that he has what it takes to win in the NFL.
Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
Position: Linebackers coach
Mayo would be another in-house option that knows what it is like to be a member of the Patriots. The former linebacker played for New England from 2008-2015. After four years away from the game, Mayo was then hired to the Patriots’ staff as their inside linebackers coach in 2019 and has retained the role since. This would be a heck of a jump as he hasn’t been a defensive coordinator yet, but the familiarity with the front office is in his favor.
Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions
Position: Offensive Coordinator
New England has been known for its defense, which remains one of the best in the league on a yearly basis. The offense hasn’t kept up since Tom Brady left, so it wouldn’t be shocking if they bring in a new head coach who is more offensive-minded. Johnson’s offense averaged the third-most yards per game in the NFL this season, including the second-most passing yards and fifth-most rushing yards per game. New England needs to bring in more weapons on offense, and that could start with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.