A rising tide lifts all boats. According to various media reports the success of the 14-2, No. 1-seed Patriots could pay off big time will potential promotions for New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
NFL Network reports that Patricia – who heads a Patriots defense that finished the season ranked No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed – will interview with the Rams and the Chargers for the teams' open head coaching jobs this coming weekend. The ascending coach interviewed with the Browns last winter.
The Washington Post and others have reported that McDaniels – who previously spent nearly two seasons as the head coach of the Broncos in 2009-10 – will interview with the Jaguars, Rams and 49ers. McDaniels has also interviewed in the past, including with the Browns and other franchises.
League rules allow for coaches on the staffs of playoff teams with a bye to interview for head coaching opportunities during that bye week. Not only is it a procedure that both Patricia and McDaniels have experience with from the past, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has dealt with the situation often over the years.
Though not all interviewed during the bye week or ended up with other NFL teams, Belichick has navigated the departures of assistants Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, McDaniels and Bill O'Brien.
"Every situation is different so they're all unique. I'd say in the end the most important thing is for this team to do what's best for this team and balance that with some of the other things we have to balance. We'll comply with everything we have to comply with in the league rules. We'll take it case-by-case," Belichick said in a Monday conference call, though he would not say at the time if specific requests to speak to McDaniels, Patricia or Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio had come across his desk. "I wouldn't have any comment on that."
In an appearance on WEEI radio in Boston on Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter not only made news regarding a potential Jimmy Garoppolo trade, but also discussed the potential for the Patriots to again lose some young coaching/personnel talent.
"Well, look, it's very clear that they are all in play," Schefter said, according to WEEI.com. "We're 24 hours really into this coaching search process and it's just too early to say where anybody is going. I think based on the interest in both coordinators, again, I think the one thing that we would sense, believe, I am not tell you it's happening, it sounds like there's a real chance they are going to lose at least one of them. I don't know which one — maybe they lose one, maybe they lose both. Again, based on the interest, San Diego has put in for Patricia, the Rams have put for Patricia. The 49ers and the Jaguars have put him for Josh, and the Rams.
"By the way, we're not done with head coaching news yet either. We have six teams that are already have changed and we're not done. There is going to be more and there is going to be more teams calling and the more teams that there are looking for head coaches, the greater the chance that the Patriots will lose at least one. Like I said on Sunday, we've had at least seven head coaching changes since 2011. We've averaged 6.8 since the turn of the century in 2000. The chances are, the over/under is seven and I am betting the over this year. I am telling you right now."
Patricia and McDaniels are likely to interview in the New England area with the various teams at a time and place that should not interfere with their work for the Patriots during the bye week.
Schefter outlined the procedure in his morning radio interview, via WEEI.com.
"What I expect to happen here with New England based on what has happened in the past is, typically they will set aside a day for these coaches to interview with other teams," Schefter said. "I kind of view it as like the NFL equivalent of media day at the Super Bowl. They might as well set up a Josh McDaniels tent and a Matt Patricia tent and a Nick Caserio tent and teams can come and ask all kinds of questions. That will be a day this weekend. I don't know whether it will be Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
"It will be one of those days and I am sure New England will set aside literally an interview day and a job fair so to speak and these teams will converge upon Foxboro, Boston, or wherever they decide to set up shop and they will talk to each guy for three, four, five hours and that will be a mentally draining day on Matt and Josh and Nick and they will go through their interviews and the teams will continue on with the rest of their scheduled interviews and formulate their opinions. A lot of times you want to talk to a guy a second time and in this particular case with Josh and Matt and Nick, you're not going to be able to do that. You only get the one crack and see how it goes and you're going to have to make a decision."