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Report: Patriots OC Josh McDaniels a candidate for Florida Gators job

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According to a report from FootballScoop.com that has been picked up by a variety of other media outlets, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be a candidate for the vacant head coaching job at the University of Florida.

The reports states that Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley considers McDaniels a "viable candidate and is vetting him as well."

McDaniels only previous head coaching experience came via his year-plus stint with the Denver Broncos. He also had a season as an offensive coordinator with the Rams. Otherwise, he's spent the bulk of his career as an assistant in New England under Bill Belichick, where he is once again leading one of the top offenses in the NFL.

Patriots offensive coordinators have a history of jumping to the college ranks for head coaching jobs. Charlie Weis took the job at Notre Dame late in the 2004 NFL regular season, serving dual roles with the Irish and Patriots, until going to South Bend full time following New England's third Super Bowl title in February 2005.

Bill O'Brien ran the New England offense for a couple years before accepting the Penn State job late in 2011 and taking over the Nittany Lions program following the Patriots loss to the Giants in February 2012. After two years with the program O'Brien left the school to return to the NFL this season as the head coach of the Texans. O'Brien, though, had a wealth of college coaching experience having spent 1993 through 2006 at a variety of schools, including as the offensive coordinator at both Georgia Tech and Duke.

Weis actually spent a year at Florida the Gators offensive coordinator under Will Muschamp, who was let go this season and coached final game at the school this past weekend.

Other reported potential candidates for the Florida job include Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain and Mississippi head coach Hugh Freeze.

McDaniels' only collegiate coaching experience was in his first job, as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State in from 1999-2000, before making the jump to Belichick's staff in 2001.

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