The Patriots appear to be casting a pretty wide net in search of the team’s next offensive coordinator. In the midst of interviewing candidates this week, another former New England player will reportedly be added to the mix.
According to CBS Sports, Cardinals associate head coach and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson will interview for the open New England offensive coordinator job on Friday. Jefferson played wide receiver for the Patriots from 1996-1999, his first season in Foxborough coinciding with Bill Belichick’s one-year stint as the team’s assistant head coach/secondary coach on Bill Parcells’ staff.
After playing 13 seasons in the NFL with the Chargers, Patriots, Falcons and Lions, Jefferson began his coaching career in Detroit in 2006 as an offensive assistant. He worked his way up the ladder with the Lions to become wide receivers coach from 2008-12. He moved on to coach receivers in Tennessee (2013-15) and Miami (2016-18). He then joined the Jets as New York’s assistant head coach/wide receiver coach from 2019-20 before landing in Arizona on Kliff Kingsbury’s staff first as wide receivers coach (2021) and adding the associate head coach title for last season.
Jefferson’s son, Van, is currently a wide receiver for the LA Rams.
Jefferson joins a growing list of prospective Patriots offensive coordinator candidates that includes former New England offensive lineman and current Oregon associate head coach Adrian Klemm as well as former NFL wide receiver and current Vikings wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell.
Current Patriots tight end coach Nick Caley is also reportedly in the mix, while Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken have also been speculated about in media circles as possible options.
New England did not have an offensive coordinator last season after Josh McDaniels left the Patriots to become head coach of the Raiders last winter. Belichick instead put the bulk of the offensive coaching duties in the hands of two curious choices, as failed Giants head coach and career special teams coach Joe Judge served as quarterbacks coach while failed Lions head coach and career defensive coach Matt Patricia handled play-calling duties. The results were predictably bad, as New England’s offense was putrid and second-year Pro Bowl quarterback Mac Jones’ play regressed greatly as the Patriots missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
The Patriots took an unprecedented move last week with a press release that said the team would interview candidates for offensive coordinator this week, a level of transparency that’s never before been seen in New England under Belichick’s leadership dating back to 2000.