Those that are successful are usually the most coveted.
It may sound cliche, and maybe a bit conceited, but it’s true.
With the annual NFL ‘coaching carousel’ about to commence, the New England Patriots find themselves directly at the center of the story. It is a position with which they are very familiar.
As of Monday morning, the Giants, Raiders, Lions, Bears, Cardinals and Colts have job openings. The interview process for those teams will begin this week.
Since the Patriots have earned a first-round bye, their coordinators — Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia — will be free to interview for jobs this coming weekend. Based on initial reports, they should be quite busy.
According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Patricia will interview for the Lions’ opening, along with Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. The report added that Detroit may hold on to many of its offensive coaches, while looking to hire a defensive specialist. There is a strong Patriots connection with the Lions. Detroit’s general manager, Bob Quinn, was a former executive in New England.
As for McDaniels, he reportedly is expected interview for the Colts’ vacancy (also according to Rapoport.) The presence of quarterback Andrew Luck (coming off injury) might make this an intriguing opportunity for a coach that is known for having a way with quarterbacks. There is also speculation McDaniels could interview for the Bears’ opening.
In addition, there was a report late Sunday that had both McDaniels and Patricia at the top of the Giants’ list. ESPN’s Adam Schefter added Monday the Giants have submitted requests to interview both Patriots coordinators.
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On Monday, Arizona threw its hat into the ring, after head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement. According to Schefter, the Cardinals submitted requests to interview Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and linebackers coach Brian Flores. Many had viewed Flores as being a potential replacement as Patriots defensive coordinator, if Patricia accepted a head coaching job.
The Next Step?
It’s neither a surprise nor a mystery that there would be so much interest in the Patriots coaching staff. Bill Belichick has done an amazing job of bringing in young coaches and teaching them the methods by which he wants them to coach.
The Patriots have been fortunate in being able to retain their top coordinators for the past few years. Will this finally be the year that one, two or three of them ascend to a top job in the NFL? Only time will tell. For now, one thing is certain. The Patriots focus will be squarely on their first playoff opponent. That includes all members of their coaching staff. Their head coach would not have it any other way.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the AFC East. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC.