If there is a downside to winning, it might be that others will attempt to raid your cupboard, luring away your talent to improve theirs. The Patriots have been down this road many times before, and it appears to be happening once again, as teams at the bottom of the standings search for potential saviors at head coach and general manager.
Media reports last week indicated Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and director of player personnel Nick Caserio are coveted by a number of teams across the NFL. McDaniels was scheduled to interview with the Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers while Patricia had interviews scheduled with the Rams and San Diego Chargers.
Other reports indicated San Francisco also requested permission to speak with Caserio about its vacant general manager position, meaning he also could be in the mix to move on.
While Patriots would be disappointed to lose such valuable pieces to their favorite team's puzzle, reality would seem to dictate that at some point some or all of them will be moving on. So with that thought in mind this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question asks: Which potential loss would be most difficult to fill?
PFW's Andy Hart says...
All three will be tough to replace but considering the circumstances of what would be left behind I feel Patricia would be the most difficult to replace. Patricia is a bright young coach who is underrated in his ability to game plan and deal with various personalities.
The defense has been the least consistent aspect of the team over the years and the potential exists for significant personnel turnover in the offseason. While Brian Flores may be the most obvious in-house candidate to replace Patricia, his readiness for the job could be a question. That could force Bill Belichick to devote more of his time to that side of the ball, which would not be ideal.
Obviously it's never a good thing to lose talented, smart people who contribute to winning, but in my view Patricia would be the toughest to replace.
PFW's Paul Perillo says...
This is a tough call for me because I feel Josh McDaniels may be the best of the three at what he does but he also leaves behind the best aspect of the team. The offense will be fine without him with Tom Brady at the helm and an experienced offensive coordinator in Brian Daboll available to take his place.
Nick Caserio is a valuable part of the organization's success with experience as both a scout and coach. He works seamlessly with Bill Belichick, scouring both the college and pro ranks for the type of talent the coach needs. He's identified many players in the trade market in recent years that have come in and helped the team, and losing that kind of keen insight would be difficult.
In the past there was a minor transition process when Scott Pioli left that existed until Caserio settled in, and in recent seasons New England has lost bright scouting minds like Bob Quinn and Jon Robinson, leaving some gaps in the personnel department. Losing Caserio would add to that void.