INDIANAPOLIS --Just before the Patriots went on yet another Super Bowl run to a fifth Lombardi Trophy, New England coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia spent the early-January bye week interviewing for open head coaching jobs.
In the end, neither man took a top job with another team, as Bill Belichick returns the bulk of his impressive coaching staff for 2017.
The men who interviewed New England's top assistants made it quite clear Thursday at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine that they came away from talks with McDaniels and Patricia very much sold on the duo's future successes.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco recalled his meeting with Patricia in Providence during a typical New England snowstorm,
"It was very good," Telesco said. "It's hard when you interview coaches that are currently playing because obviously what we're doing is secondary and it should be like that. He was in the middle of a playoff run that supersedes us. So we were appreciative of the fact that he took the time during a busy prep week to meet with us down in Providence. He drove through a snowstorm to come see us, which was…that meant a lot to us.
[Patricia] knows football. He's a good person. He's a got a bright, really bright future in this league in my opinion.
"It was a great conversation. I talked to him on the phone a couple times. We interviewed him. He's sharp and he's smart. He knows football. He's a good person. He's a got a bright, really bright future in this league in my opinion."
Patricia also interviewed with the other LA team, the Rams, sharing that opportunity with McDaniels. Rams GM Les Snead said his research into Belichick's assistants began with an appreciation for their accomplishments before it got to a more personal, individual level.
"What stands out is, hey, their success over the last maybe not five years, decade, as long as we've been covering this league it seems like they've been doing what they do. But you can tell when you sit down with both of those guys, highly intelligent," Snead said. "They use that intelligence to get a competitive advantage in football. They've got a plan. They have a system. They believe in it and they execute it. That's what you get when you sit down with Josh and Matt. Very impressive individuals."
That's what you get when you sit down with Josh and Matt. Very impressive individuals.
McDaniels also interviewed with the Jaguars and 49ers, pulling out of consideration for the San Francisco job that reportedly could have been his. His meeting with Jacksonville allowed him to reconnect with a fellow former John Carroll college football teammate in G.M. David Caldwell.
"It was interesting because obviously we played college football together and when we went to the interview and I talked to him the night before I was like, 'God, I don't even remember the last time you and I talked.' You would think coming to the Combine or Senior Bowls or through preseason games we'd run into each other. We probably haven't talked in five or six or seven years. We both recognized that we need to do a better job communicating moving forward," Caldwell said.
[McDaniels] has a great situation there and he'll get an opportunity here sooner than later.
"As far as the interview goes he did a great job. I don't think this was his time, knowing that they were going to go far into the playoffs and Super Bowl. He has a great situation there and he'll get an opportunity here sooner than later."