A pair of Patriots assistants have become 2 of the hottest head-coaching candidates

  • The New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are among the NFL's top head-coaching candidates this offseason.
  • Both coaches have received interview requests from teams looking for head coaches, and some in the NFL world believe they are bound to leave the Patriots.
  • Losing two top coordinators with impressive resumes would hurt the Patriots.


Several NFL head coaching jobs opened up almost as soon as the NFL regular season ended, and it's looking more and more like at least one of those jobs will be filled by a current New England Patriots coach.

According to several reports, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are perhaps the two most valued head-coaching candidates this offseason.

Some of that prestige comes from simply working with the Patriots, but both coaches are impressive in their own right. McDaniels was a head coach for the Denver Broncos for two seasons and has since worked with Tom Brady and kept the Patriots among the NFL's most elite offenses.

And while Patricia's work with the Patriots defense has been slightly less impressive, he has still climbed the team ranks quickly and impressed people who have talked to him. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that some teams think Patricia could excel as a GM.

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Patriots assistant coaches Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
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Patriots assistant coaches Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots gets a Gatorade shower as he celebrates with eefensive coordinator Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels near the end of the game against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels talk in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos hosted the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, November 12, 2017. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels of the New England Patriots makes a play call from the sideline in the first quarter of a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 29: New England Patriots offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels waves to the fans during New England Patriots training camp on July 29, 2017, at the Patriots Practice Facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, NY - DECEMBER 24: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels walks the sidelines during a National Football League game between the between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots on December 24, 2017, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia watches a play during a game between the Denver Broncos and the visiting New England Patriots on November 12, 2017 at Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 24: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady talks to Matt Patricia (defensive coordinator) before they play the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Dec. 24, 2017. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and offensive coordinator Matt Patricia talk prior to their game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25, 2017: Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia of the New England Patriots converses with linebackers coach Brian Flores prior to a preseason game on August 25, 2017 against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. New England won 30-28. (Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 26: New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia speaks to the media at the start of training camp at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., July 26, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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"Last year when he interviewed with teams, they said he was smart enough to be a general manager," Schefter said (via CBS's Will Brinson). "He looks destined to leave New England at this point in time."

While ESPN's NFL insiders ranked McDaniels as a more intriguing coaching candidate than Patricia, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport told WEEI that he thinks both men will leave New England this offseason.

Schefter reported that the New York Giants have reached out to the Patriots about talking to both McDaniels and Patricia about their head coaching position. Various reports have also linked McDaniels to the Indianapolis Colts opening where he could work with Andrew Luck and Patricia to the Detroit Lions opening where he could work with a young and improving defense on the cusp of postseason contention.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears both have openings, and the Oakland Raiders would be a top coaching destination if for some reason their deal with Jon Gruden falls through.

Related: See Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick through the years: 

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Tom Brady and Bill Belichick through the years
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Tom Brady and Bill Belichick through the years
CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 18: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick holds a sideline meeting with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe during the fourth quarter of Saturday's NFL preseason game with the Carolina Panthers played in Charlotte. (Photo by John Bohn/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, UNITED STATES: New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick (R) after their win over the St. Louis Rams 03 February, 2002 in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Patriots defeated the Rams 20-17 for the NFL championship. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick and the coaching staff give frantic last second instructions to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the final drive of the game vs. the Chicago Bears 11/10/2002. Brady went on to throw a 20 yd. touchdown pass to wide receiver David Patten to beat the Bears 33-30.� Don Lansu. (Photo by Don Lansu/Getty Images)
NFL Football - New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, Tom Brady against Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Championship at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Penn., on Jan. 25, 2005. Patriots won 41-27. (Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, UNITED STATES: Head coach Bill Belichick (L) of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady (R) talk 06 February 2005 after winning the Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 to win their second straight Super Bowl and third in four years. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick celebrate after 24-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers in AFC Divisional Playoff game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. on Sunday, January 14, 2007. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH - OCTOBER 20: During the Patriots practice on the practice field at Gillette Stadium, coach Bill Belichick (left) talks with Tom Brady. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 22: New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick hugs Tom Brady (#12) after winning the game against Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick applauded New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (#12) after Brady's touchdown pass to New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (#85) in the fourth quarter as the Patriots took on the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots confers with Tom Brady #12 during a time out in the 2nd half in a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 07: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hits a tee shot on the 13th hole as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks on during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 7, 2014 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - DECEMBER 14: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick share a moment as the final seconds tick off the clock in their victory, which gave them their 6th straight AFC East title. The New England Patriots hosted the Miami Dolphins in a regular season NFL game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12, team owner Robert Kraft, and head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws the first pitch before the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Nationals as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick looks on from left at Fenway Park on April 13, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 25: With only three days off between games, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (rear) and head coach Bill Belichick (front) will have very little time to get ready for Thursday night's game against the Dolphins. Here they are pictured on the sidelines during Sunday's game against the New York Jets in a regular season NFL football game at Gillette Stadium. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts with head coach Bill Belichick during the fourth quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Gillette Stadium on November 13, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 30: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 stand onstage during Super Bowl 51 Opening Night at Minute Maid Park on January 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 and head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots celebrate a 34-28 overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BOSTON - FEBRUARY 7: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady raises a Lombardi Trophy during the rally in City Hall Plaza following the Patriots Super Bowl LI Victory Parade in Boston on Feb. 7, 2017. Head coach Bill Belichick is behind him. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 31: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady #12 chat before a preseason game with the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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McDaniels and Patricia both interviewed for positions last season, but ultimately stayed with New England. To date, both coaches have been choosy about openings they would pursue. However, with several positions opening up this season, both of them may be able to find positions of interest.

Losing one, let alone both, of McDaniels or Patricia would hurt the Patriots. Though Bill Belichick and the team have a history of grooming assistants into higher positions, losing two coordinators in the same offseason would likely leave them considering outside candidates to help fill the positions.

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