It’s that time of the year for New England Patriots fans. Black Monday has passed, and coaches have been fired. As expected, the franchises now lacking a head coach are looking to names on the Patriots coordinators as replacements. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have both seen their names surface as candidates to fill head coaching vacancies around the leagues.
Will either coach look to take an opportunity offered to them? What teams would best fit their coaching styles and schemes? Is McDaniels willing to leave the organization after his stint with the Broncos went so dismally? Only time will tell what their future holds. For now, let’s take a deeper look into their potential situations and find out.
Potential Landing Spots for Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia
For McDaniels, three teams in particular have shown interest in the 41-year old offensive coordinator. The New York Giants, the presumptuous favorites in the race to land McDaniels, have an interview scheduled with the head coach on Friday. The Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts have also scheduled interviews with McDaniels next week.
The Giants ranked 31st in points per game during the 2017 season. Bringing in a name like McDaniels would install a new offensive playbook into the hands of aging quarterback Eli Manning. Receivers Odell Beckham Jr, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard are all signed for next season. McDaniels would have a chance to coach an offense full of potential and build a game plan around some talented weapons.
The Bears could also be an intriguing destination for McDaniels. The Bears believe they have found their franchise quarterback in rookie Mitchell Trubisky. With a talented offensive mind like McDaniels, the Bears would be able to build a playbook that works to the strengths of the young former North Carolina Tar Heel. Inserting McDaniels into the head coaching role could pay dividends down the road for Trubisky’s growth. The Bears are a fairly young team, and though they still have some rebuilding to do, a talented head coach would go a long way.
The Colts may be the riskiest of the three opportunities for two reasons. Most notably is the health of Andrew Luck. There are plenty of questions surrounding the Luck’s future, and despite his familiarity with current starter Jacoby Brissett, there is a certain drop in skill level between the two players. The second concern is the issue of an owner in Jim Irsay who likes to make headlines. For McDaniels, he will have to decide whether he wants to take the risk of coaching under a volatile owner.
For Patricia, there appears to be three teams competing for an opportunity to sign him as head coach. The clear favorite in the race is the Detroit Lions. Additionally, the Giants and the Arizona Cardinals have requested interviews with Patricia.
The Lions appear to be the best fit for Patricia. General manager Bob Quinn already has a strong relationship with Patricia due to his time in New England. Patricia and Quinn worked together from 2004-2016 when Quinn left to take the Lions’ general manager position. Patricia is a highly intelligent individual, and is known for his thorough game planning for his defense. The Lions, who ranked 27th in yards allowed in 2017, would benefit greatly from his defensive expertise.
The Giants could also use some help on the defensive side of the ball. Their offensive struggles may have factored in to their lackluster performance this season. That being said, the Giants finished 31st in yards allowed and 28th in points allowed. The defense has potential, with plenty of young, talented players on the roster. A mastermind like Patricia could be what the Giants’ front office needs to put those pieces together.
The Arizona Cardinals seem to have the least to offer Patricia when it comes to a head coaching position. Although their defense is supported with stars such as Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, their offense has some question marks. Mainly, who will be playing under center for them next season. Carson Palmer announced his retirement on Tuesday. Backup Blaine Gabbert is set to enter free agency. Although David Johnson will be returning from a hand injury that eventually put him on injured reserve, the offense may not be in a position to keep the defense off the field next season.
Where Do We Go From Here
To answer the question of whether the Patriots coordinators stay or go, only time will tell. There are many personal factors that will go into both of their decisions. Assumptions aside, let’s take a look at where the best fit for each coach would be outside of New England.
For McDaniels, the Giants seems to be his best bet. The offense is similar to the Patriots in terms of their roster, with a talented veteran quarterback, star wide receivers and no strong run game. His current schemes in New England, with a little tinkering, could work well with the Giants offense. Paired with a strong defensive coordinator, they could turn things around for the struggling Giants.
For Patricia, the best choice appears to be the Lions. As previously stated, his strong relationship with the current general manager is important. Patricia is the defensive mind that the Lions could really use to push their team to the next level. If Patricia is able to work with current offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, the Lions could take a big step forward next season with Patricia at the helm.
For now, both Patriots coordinators will look to put their expertise to the task of helping New England win another Super Bowl. At the end of the day, back-to-back championships would be quite the addition to the resume.