The NY Jets reportedly interviewed their first official candidate for the team's vacant offensive coordinator position on Friday in Philadelphia Eagles passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo.
Patullo is the first of what will likely be an extensive list of coaches the Jets interview to be Mike LaFleur's replacement. His inclusion on the list was a bit surprising given the team's reported focus on experienced coaches.
That said, Patullo has enough on his resume to warrant an interview. Most recently, his work with Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has been praised, as has his work with the entire Eagles' passing game.
But just who is Kevin Patullo? Why would the Jets interview him? And does he have a legitimate chance to be the team's next offensive coordinator?
Who is Kevin Patullo?
A native of Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, Patullo attended college at South Florida where he split time between quarterback and wide receiver. After his playing career ended, he opted to remain at USF, which is where his coaching career began.
Patullo spent two years as a graduate assistant at USF before leaving to join the University of Arizona in the same role. His first NFL opportunity came when he was hired as an offensive assistant and offensive quality control coach with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007.
From there, he had stints with the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans before his big break came with the Jets of all teams in 2015. Some might remember Patullo as the Jets' quarterbacks coach during the Ryan Fitzpatrick years in 2015 and 2016 under then-head coach Todd Bowles.
Patullo's hiring was seen as a peculiar move at the time given his lack of experience, but his ties to Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey dating back to their Buffalo days helped him get the gig.
After two years with the Jets, Patullo spent a year at Texas A&M as a senior offensive analyst before returning to the NFL in 2018 with the Indianapolis Colts. Patullo spent three years with the Colts filling a variety of roles, ranging from wide receivers coach to pass game specialist.
The 41-year-old followed Nick Sirianni to Philadelphia in 2021 where he was given the title of passing game coordinator, and that's where he's remained since.
Why would the NY Jets hire Kevin Patullo?
Patullo doesn't exactly fit the bill of the experienced veteran coach the Jets are reportedly looking for on the offensive side of the ball. If the Jets were to hire Patullo, they'd likely pair him with an experienced assistant to help shoulder some of the load.
That said, Patullo does have a couple of promising bragging points on his resume. For starters, he helped Ryan Fitzpatrick put together arguably the best season of any quarterback in Jets history in 2015.
Fitzpatrick set a new franchise record for passing touchdowns in a single season and fell just shy of becoming the second quarterback in Jets history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.
Of course, Fitzpatrick's undoing in the 2016 season is partially what led to Patullo's early departure, but that 2015 season has to count for something.
More recently, Patullo has helped turn an Eagles passing offense that was among the worst in football into one of the better units in the NFL.
The Eagles' passing game ranked 29th in the NFL in DVOA the season before Patullo arrived (2020). Under Patullo, the Eagles' passing offense ranked 14th in 2021 and ninth in 2022.
His work with Jalen Hurts, in particular, will garner praise from around the league as he helped develop Hurts into a legitimate All-Pro quarterback this season.
There's always the Eagles/Joe Douglas connection as well. Douglas still has plenty of ties to his old organization and remains good friends with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. It should come as no surprise that the first two official interviews for the Jets are with Eagles assistants.
Would the NY Jets actually hire Kevin Patullo?
This is a difficult question to answer, especially considering we don't know every candidate the Jets will interview. What we can infer is that Patullo does have a legitimate chance to receive the position and that he has enough on his resume to warrant the hire.
Patullo wouldn't be a splashy hire like Frank Reich or even a veteran hire like Darrell Bevell, but he's a young, up-and-coming offensive assistant who has connections to the front office. That alone gives him a shot to earn the job.
There may be more ideal candidates out there for the Jets, but don't overlook Kevin Patullo as a real possibility. He might just be destined for his second stint with the organization.