Patriots want to keep de facto DC Jerod Mayo, but not Matt Patricia's playcalling

The New England Patriots just lined out their main offseason to-do list.

The team announced Thursday it has begun to discuss a potential contract extension for linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, a head coaching candidate who handled defensive playcalling this season. New England also said it would begin interviewing offensive coordinators next week.

The full statement:

The New England Patriots and Head Coach Bill Belichick have begun contract extension discussions with Jerod Mayo that would keep him with the team long-term. In addition, the team will begin interviewing for offensive coordinator candidates beginning next week.

The Patriots are unique in the NFL in that they played this season without an offensive or defensive coordinator. The first position opened up after former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders last offseason, while the defensive coordinator spot has been formally vacant since Matt Patricia left in 2018.

Mayo has shared defensive playcalling duties with fellow linebackers coach Steve Belichick since the exit of Brian Flores, who held the same role, in 2019. The results were strong this season, with the Patriots ranking fifth in the NFL in yards allowed per play with 5.0, despite losing the likes of Dont’a Hightower, J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore over the past two seasons.

The offensive playcalling — the entire offense, really — hasn't been so successful.

To replace McDaniels, Belichick reportedly turned to a brain trust of offensive line coach Matt Patricia (yes, the former defensive coordinator) and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge, both failed head coaches who returned to the mothership.

Patricia was selected as the offensive play-caller, to subpar results. The Patriots offense struggled mightily this offseason, ranking 19th in yards per play while opposing coaches mocked them and quarterback Mac Jones bristled on the sidelines.

With that context, it's no wonder the Patriots are looking for an actual offensive coordinator, though an internal candidate could still be in the realm of possibility.