American Football

DeMarcus Covington planning on calling defensive plays for Patriots

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New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The role was previously held by Steve Belichick.

As Jerod Mayo assembled his new coaching staff over the past few weeks, he named DeMarcus Covington the New England Patriots new defensive coordinator.

Mayo is also apparently planning on naming the first time coordinator the defensive play caller, as well.

“I do plan on calling plays,” Covington said Wednesday after being introduced as the Patriots first official defensive coordinator since 2017.

The role as play caller was previously held by Steve Belichick, who co-coordinated the defense with Mayo, from 2019-23. Belichick, however, is now on staff at the University of Washington as the program’s defensive coordinator.

With Covington now set to handle those duties for the first time, he will spend the next several months on and off the field preparing himself as needed.

“I would say you get those practice reps obviously on the practice field and in the classroom for me,” he explained. “So gaining those reps, going through different games, going through situations in the meeting room with the other coaches and then also putting myself in those situations on the practice field. That’s what we do, just like the players are out there preparing to play, and they’re going through reps, I should be doing the same thing as a play-caller during those reps. It just doesn’t happen overnight.

“This is something where I’ve been preparing. This is something I wanted to do. So, you already take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for when you get the opportunity to be ready.”

Covington most recently served as the Patriots defensive line coach since 2020. His unit was New England’s best last season on a defense that ranked 9th in DVOA.

Despite the changes on the coaching staff, Covington shared their likely won’t be much of a philosophical change on the defense as they hope to replicate — and improve on — their past success.

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