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Reports: Patricia going to Detroit, McDaniels to Indy

The Providence Journal, R.I.

January 14. 2018 8:48PM

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is shown during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans in Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

It looks like the New England Patriots will be searching for two new coordinators when the 2017 NFL season ends.

According to ESPN, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is likely to be the Lions’ next head coach. According to the NFL Network, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has asked his potential assistant coaches to wait for him, as it’s believed he’ll take the head-coaching job with the Indianapolis Colts.

As if that wasn’t enough, ESPN also reports that Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores is expected to be a finalist for the Arizona Cardinals’ head-coaching job. Losing Patricia and McDaniels won’t be surprising. You can’t say the same for Flores, who is considered the defensive coordinator in waiting.

This offseason, Patricia has turned into the NFL’s hottest coaching candidate. He interviewed with the Lions, New York Giants and Cardinals. He has been reported to be the top choice for both the Lions and Giants. Detroit was always thought to be the favorite. The Lions were 9-7 last season, have a quarterback (Matthew Stafford) and Patricia knows Detroit general manager Bob Quinn, who was with the Patriots from 2000 to 2015.

Patricia interviewed with the San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Rams last year. He interviewed with the Cleveland Browns the season before that. The defensive coordinator helped lead a Patriots defense that grew exponentially this season. From Week 1 to Week 4, the unit was ranked No. 31 in scoring defense. From Week 5 to Week 17, they were ranked No. 1 in scoring defense. The drastic improvement shows the type of adjustments that the Patriots’ coaching staff made.

New England Patriots center David Andrews high-fives offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels during the third quarter of Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

McDaniels’ name has been linked to several teams over recent years. This year, he interviewed with the Colts, Giants and Bears. Last year, he interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts job always seemed enticing when it came to McDaniels. If Andrew Luck can get healthy, McDaniels will already have a solid quarterback. The Colts also play inside a dome, which is optimal for a high-octane offense.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Patriots fill their vacancies.

With Patricia, it was always thought that Flores would fill in as defensive coordinator. He’s been groomed in the Patriots’ system since 2004 and, like Patricia, has coached safeties and linebackers individually. The worst-case scenario for the Patriots is that Flores gets hired by the Cardinals. That would leave the Patriots searching for another defensive coordinator. One outside thought is Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who is Belichick’s friend and the former head coach of Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The offensive coordinator job is less predictable. The Patriots could try and bring back Brian Daboll, who just won a national championship as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. He was with the Patriots from 2000 to 2006 and then again from 2013 to 2016. He has experience as the coordinator for the Browns, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

Internal candidates would be people like receivers coach Chad O’Shea and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski.


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