Reiss lays out some candidates
- Bill O’Brien: The former Patriots quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator (2009-2011) projects as a leading candidate who uniquely checks every box. If he could get close pal Doug Marrone (Saints OL coach) to join him, it would be a decisive double dip. O’Brien’s former offensive line coach with the Texans, Mike Devlin, could also fit; he’s currently an assistant OL coach in Baltimore.
- Adam Gase: The former Dolphins and Jets head coach has never worked for Belichick, but there is plenty of mutual respect, he has run a similar offensive scheme and came up under Nick Saban (a Belichick confidant), when he was head coach at Michigan State and LSU. Gase's last OL coach with the Jets, Frank Pollack, now has that position with the Bengals.
- Keenan McCardell: The current Vikings wide receivers coach played for Belichick with the Browns (1992-1995) and has spent the past decade coaching receivers between the NFL and college. A jump to coordinator might be steep, but pairing him with someone with an OL background like Marrone -- whom he coached under in Jacksonville (2017-2020) and has OL/blocking expertise -- could be a nice complement.
- Shawn Jefferson: An associate head coach/receivers coach under Gase with the Jets (2019-2020) and Kliff Kingsbury with the Cardinals (2022), he played for the Patriots in 1996 when Belichick was an assistant on the staff. He has been coaching in the NFL since 2007.
- Kliff Kingsbury: A 2003 sixth-round draft choice of the Patriots, he spent the past four seasons as Cardinals coach before being fired Monday. His offenses are notably different from what New England has run, but his knowledge as a quarterback has transferred to the coaching ranks. Peter Schrager of Fox Sports reported Saturday that Kingsbury has told teams he isn’t interested in coordinator jobs at the moment.
- Doug Nussmeier: Currently serving as the Cowboys' quarterbacks coach, he was Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2012 and 2013. He played quarterback (Saints' fourth-rounder in 1994) before entering the coaching ranks, and has two years of coaching tight ends on his resume, so there’s some natural linkage with blocking schemes.
- Nick Caley: The Patriots’ tight ends coach since 2017, he was passed over last year in favor of the Patricia/Judge combination. If Belichick didn’t think he was ready then, the question is if things would be different now.