Matt Patricia A New DC Candidate In Denver

As new Broncos head coach Sean Payton has continued building his new staff in Denver, two names have emerged as top candidates for the defensive coordinator position. Joining Rex Ryan and Vance Joseph as top options for the job, Patriots senior football advisor Matt Patricia spent today in Denver as a new candidate for the role, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Despite his successful tenure in New England as a defensive coordinator, which led to a head coaching job, Patricia found himself on the offensive side of the coaching staff this past year for the Patriots. The move to pair Patricia with offensive assistant Joe Judge to effectively serve as de facto offensive coordinator puzzled many and didn’t exactly deliver the desired results the Patriots were hoping for. Patricia garnered much of the criticism in his first return to the offensive side of coaching since he served as assistant offensive line coach in 2005.

With the recent addition of Bill O’Brien, back as offensive coordinator in New England for the first time in 12 years, questions immediately arose surrounding the future of both Patricia and Judge. Obviously no longer needed to call offensive plays, it’s widely been believed that both coaches would still be able to carve some role out to remain in New England. With the new update in Denver, it appears Patricia is trying his hand at other jobs in the NFL, as well.

Patricia is an intriguing candidate for the position. His tenure as defensive coordinator for the Patriots was largely successful. As defensive coordinator from 2012-17, Patricia’s defenses never finished worse than 10th in the league in points allowed, finishing first in the category in 2016. Despite the success keeping opponents out of the end zone, the defenses under Patricia finished in the bottom eight for yards allowed three times, including a 29th-ranked finish in his final season as defensive coordinator in 2017.

Besides Patricia, the Broncos have had seven other potential names mentioned for the position. Former defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero was released from his contract and allowed to accept the same position in Carolina. Brian Flores cancelled his interview and accepted the defensive coordinator position in Minnesota. Former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was mentioned as a candidate, and Seahawks defensive assistant Sean Desai and Saints former co-defensive coordinator Kris Richard were both interviewed for the job, but to this point, Joseph and Ryan are considered the favorites with Ryan even undergoing a second interview last week.

It will be interesting to see how much Patricia factors into the decision as such a late addition to the search. For updates on the job, be sure to follow our 2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker.

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