Bill Belichick's top assistants are often in high demand this time of year as other NFL franchises try to fill out open head coaching jobs.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter that is once again the case as the Dolphins have reportedly requested permission to interview New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia for the Miami head coaching vacancy.
McDaniels, who was the Broncos head coach for a year-plus from 2009-10, is no stranger to the interview and head coaching search process. He's both interviewed and turned down interviews in recent years in his second tour of duty leading the Patriots Tom Brady-paced passing attack.
But Patricia is a newcomer to the process. The bearded defensive boss is in his fourth season running Belichick's defense and 12th as an NFL assistant, all in New England. The Patriots defense has outperformed expectations in 2015, including the development of first-time Pro Bowlers Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones.
By rule, assistants from playoff bye teams can interview for head coaching jobs this week. It's a process that Belichick is quite familiar with over the years having seen the likes of Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, McDaniels and Bill O'Brien go through the interview process and land head jobs in either the NFL or college.
The current power structure in Miami includes owner Stephen Ross, executive vice president Mike Tannenbaum and newly-named general manager Chris Grier, son of former Patriots vice president of player personnel Bobby Grier.
If the Dolphins are granted permission to speak with McDaniels, Patricia or both, the interviews would likely take place later this week.