Patriots Assistant Slated as ‘Great Head Coach One Day’

New England Patriots

Getty New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are known for cultivating head coaches of the future. So, who is the next coach to make the leap to head coach after working under Bill Belichick?

Signs point to 33-year-old DeMarcus Covington, currently in his sixth season on New England’s coaching staff. Players, fellow coaches and his boss have praised his work.

“DeMarcus does a really good job,” Belichick said in October, according to a November 10 NESN.com story. “I met him at Chattanooga and kind of got to know him there. Hired him later in that spring.

“I’m sure he could coach a lot of positions on defense,” he said. Young guy that’s really smart, works hard. Has worked with a lot of different types of players, even on our defensive line. That difference between our interior guys and our outside guys is quite distinct.”


What Do Players Think of Covington?

Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux was more explicit in his assessing Covington’s potential.

“Head coach,” he said, according to Dakota Randall’s NESN.com story. “He’s so detailed — great head coach one day.”

Covington, who played wide receiver at Samford, started as a Patriots coaching assistant in 2017 before becoming outside linebacker coach in 2019 and then defensive line coach in 2020. His philosophy is one of helping young players develop.

“Always was taught, as you continue to climb, you pull somebody up,” Covington said, according to a MassLive story by Sophie Weller published in August. “So for me, that’s what I continue to do. As I continue to climb up the hill, pull somebody up. Because there’s guys who came before me that pulled me up. … We’re all in it so we can develop together.”


Covington Sharpens His Skills as Coach

Patriots players have echoed Covington’s “develop together” philosophy, with Godchaux calling Covington a “great teacher” and saying “he’s able to teach us and apply it to the field.”

“Some coaches think they got all the answers,” Godchaux said, according to the NESN story. “Nobody has all the answers, even the greatest of all time. Bill Belichick will tell you the same thing.”

Covington said he’s gotten the same message from Belichick. When asked what is one of the main things he’s learned from the head coach, Covington said, “to be a listener.”

“Listen … and be an active learner,” Covington said during a video Q&A in October. “I try to get better and I try to seek knowledge every year.”

Defensive end Deatrich Wise praised Covington for his football knowledge and leadership role.

“He has the ability to see what other coaches see but also, as a true teacher, break it down [so that] his players can understand what he’s saying and execute as such,” Wise said, according to the NESN story. “And he does a wonderful job reading the room, if we’re like, ‘OK, we’re not feeling the game plan’ … he’s able to [ask], ‘What do you see in the game?’

To Godchaux, it comes back to what Covington said about listening.

“You gotta be willing to take some feedback from your players,” he said, according to the NESN story. “I feel like, as a coach, when you feel like you got all the answers, you’re not really helping us get better and you’re not getting better yourself.”

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