The Patriots are hitting the home stretch of the regular season and are in great position to secure a bye in the playoffs and perhaps even the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. As in typically the case, they are poised to play well into January and with a little good fortune maybe even February where they would get the opportunity to defend their Super Bowl title.
Meanwhile there are many other NFL locales that are not nearly as fortunate. There is already one head coach out of work (the Giants Ben McAdoo) and there will be no doubt be many more vacancies once the regular season ends. Usually that means a lot of eyes will turn to Foxborough where coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia have once again done tremendous work leading their respective units this season.
Both have interviewed for jobs in the past and the Patriots have been fortunate to retain their services in recent years. But at some point that fortune is going to run out and some team (or teams) is going to hire one or both and leave the Patriots searching for replacements.
Bill Belichick no doubt has given this plenty of thought and is prepared for just such a scenario, but this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question asks: Which coordinator would be tougher for the Patriots to replace?
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
The strength of the Patriots is the offense, and losing the guy calling the plays would be difficult to ignore.
Josh McDaniels has developed a great relationship with Tom Brady and the two have worked seamlessly together over the years guiding one of the most productive units in football. McDaniels has a great feel for play-calling and losing that experience would be a difficult blow for Brady at this stage of his career.
Also, at some point Brady is no longer going to be here and as early as next season the team could have a young potential replacement in need of developing. I would feel better having McDaniels here to help that process rather than a new coordinator who would already have enough on his plate as the new guy.
McDaniels would be tougher to replace.
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
Matt Patricia has done a tremendous job piecing things together on defense over the years without the benefit of having Tom Brady at his disposal. He's worked in all phases of the defense and has proven to be a solid defensive coordinator.
Patricia leaving would perhaps put more of a burden on Bill Belichick to focus on that side of the ball, and at this stage of his career Belichick would be better served overseeing everything like he has for the last several years.
Patricia always gets the most out of his players and finds different roles for players to contribute. Replacing a coordinator of his caliber would be no easy task and it I'm not sure if there's a worthy successor currently on the staff.
In a perfect world neither coordinator leaves but Patricia would be the bigger loss.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.