Cardinals assistant Jefferson reportedly interviewing for Pats’ OC opening

Jan 19, 2023, 9:44 AM | Updated: 11:38 am
Arizona Cardinals associate head coach and wide receiver coach Shawn Jefferson (Tyler Drake/Arizona...
Arizona Cardinals associate head coach and wide receiver coach Shawn Jefferson (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports).
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals continue searching for their new head coach, and even though there is a chance some members of Kliff Kingsbury’s staff could return under a new regime, it’s likely those assistants are open to finding more certain landing spots.

Take associate head coach and wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, who is reportedly interviewing for the New England Patriots’ opening at offensive coordinator, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson.

New England lost former OC Josh McDaniels before the 2022 season when he became head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick took the unusual step of replacing him with long-time Patriots defensive assistant and former Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia. Former special teams coordinator Joe Judge also took on quarterback-coaching duties as New England’s offense struggled in quarterback Mac Jones’ second season.

Jefferson, who played for the Patriots at receiver from 1996-99, joined the Cardinals two years ago and replaced former wide receivers coach David Raih, bringing a more disciplined attitude to the position group.

Jefferson had little better traction in developing receivers, as the team moved on from 2019 second-round draft pick Andy Isabella after he failed to earn playing time early on this year despite injuries.

Due to injuries, inconsistencies and a rotation of quarterbacks, the Cardinals’ receivers were hit-and-miss this past year. DeAndre Hopkins led the team with 717 receiving yards in just nine games, while Marquise Brown was close behind with 709 yards in 12 games. Midseason acquisition Robbie Anderson also failed to make an impact, making seven catches for 76 yards over 10 games.

Perhaps the best story of development under Jefferson’s watch was that of undrafted receiver Greg Dortch, who finished third on the team with 467 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Jefferson is searching for a new opportunity with no certainty he will return to Arizona.

That likelihood could presumably increase if defensive coordinator Vance Joseph steps into the head role, but with new general manager Monti Ossenfort currently running through head-coaching interviews, that is not a given.

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