With “Black Monday” having come-and-gone last week in the NFL, there are now several head coaching positions available around the league. Not surprisingly, Patriots coordinators Josh Mcdaniels and Matt Patricia were interviewed by a number of teams during the Patriots bye week.
The New York Giants requested permission to talk to both Mcdaniels and Patricia. Mcdaniels met with the Bears and the Colts. Patricia met with the Lions and Cardinals. The Cardinals also requested an interview with linebackers coach Brian Flores.
However, there’s always a job to be done in Foxboro. After all, this is the land of ‘one game at a time.’ Mcdaniels and Patricia were both asked about their upcoming meetings during their respective conference calls on Monday. Naturally, both men pushed aside the notion of any sort of distraction being created by their potential relocation. Mcdaniels and Patricia have been interviewed for several vacant coaching positions throughout their tenure with New England. Obviously, they know how to handle the uncertainty of it all.
“Yeah, I mean, that process – whatever it is – it will take place,” said Mcdaniels. “I mean, I’m certainly not aware of anything at this point. I’ve just been focused on trying to grade our tape and work with our staff to try to get ourselves ready to have a productive week here with our guys and get ready to go. All of that stuff, you know, usually takes care of itself. There’s a time and a place for all of that, and I’ve gone through it before, which is helpful in terms of being able to balance that and multitask it. But, my focus here when I come into this building will always be on what’s best for the Patriots and trying to do what I can to help us prepare to play our best game the next time we go out on the field.”
Patricia had a very similar response when asked about his expectations for this week. “Yeah, I mean I have no idea about any of that,” said Patricia. “None of that is even really applicable to me right now because I don’t have any information on that. I’m in normal mode – came in and graded the Jets. [I’m] trying to take a good look at what we did on defense yesterday and try to see where things that were positive and things that we’ve got to get better on and working to make sure that we have a good, productive week this week and try to improve those things.”
After the Raiders unloaded a Brinks truck to bring Jon Gruden out of retirement, and the Bears handed the keys to former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, four head coaching spots remain open. The Cardinals, the Lions, the Colts, and the Giants are still searching for their new head coach. Of course, the rumor mill is still churning as far as who will land where. Although it is purely speculation at this point, Mcdaniels would appear to be most likely destined for either the Giants or Colts job. Patricia is also near the top of the list for the Giants and seems to be the preferred target for the Lions.
Lions GM Bob Quinn, who came from New England, is said to be enamored with bringing in Patricia to take the reins. According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Patricia would actually prefer to land in New York ahead of Detroit. Apparently, Houston Texans defensive coordinator and former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel would be the fallback option for the Lions if Patricia bolts for New York.
The buzz around Mcdaniels has been strangely quiet. According to Ian Rappaport of NFL Media, the Colts are focusing in on offensively minded candidates. Pairing Josh Mcdaniels with a fully recovered Andrew Luck might be just what Indianapolis needs to turn things around after an extremely disappointing 4-12 finish to the season.
The Patriots will take on the Tennessee Titans in their Divisional Round Playoff game on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
–Sam Puran is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. She covers the New England Patriots. Follow her on Twitter @S_Pats21.