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BOSTON (CBS) – While the New England Patriots are trying to get ready for the playoffs, they now have to start thinking about finding a new offensive coordinator.
Current offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has reportedly taken the head coaching job at Penn State, taking over for the fired Joe Paterno. He will continue to serve as the Patriots’ OC until after the season, but now the Pats will have to find their third offensive coordinator in the last five years.
Could they turn to the man who held the job before O’Brien?
Josh McDaniels, currently under contract with the St. Louis Rams, could make a return to New England where he enjoyed some of the best years of his career. Before leaving for Denver after the 2008 season, McDaniels served as offensive coordinator to Tom Brady and crew for two seasons. Under McDaniels, with O’Brien as quarterbacks coach, the offense had one of the best in NFL history in 2007.
The St. Louis Dispatch is reporting New England has already asked permission to speak to McDaniels about a possible return, but they have some company. The Kansas City Chiefs have also requested permission to talk to McDaniels.
SI’s Peter King tweeted Friday morning if McDaniels wants to leave the Rams, the team will not stop him.
McDaniels would be a good choice because of his familiarity with the New England system and Bill Belichick would not have to worry about any transition period.
The Patriots could also promote from inside the organization, much like they did with both McDaniels and O’Brien.
Coaches such as tight ends coach Brian Ferentz and receivers coach Chad O’Shea could get some consideration, as both have experience in the NFL. Ferentz has four years under his belt with O’Shea a veteran of nine seasons. Either could be promoted to offensive play-calling without actually getting the OC title, much like O’Brien did prior to getting the official title this season.
For now, the Patriots will focus on their upcoming Divisional playoff next Saturday at Gillette, but don’t think Bill Belichick won’t be planning his move for O’Brien’s replacement as well.
The Patriots have a first-round bye, but be sure to tune in to a special playoff edition of Patriots GameDay Sunday January 8 at 11:30am on WBZ-TV. Then on Saturday, January 14, tune in to the Pats Playoff matchup on WBZ-TV and 98.5 The Sports Hub at 8pm. Pregame coverage begins with 98.5′s Patriots Preview at 5pm.