By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The annual event of NFL teams firing their head coaches was off and running on Sunday, and as has become a regular occurrence in New England, two top coordinators are already being linked to job openings elsewhere.
Both Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are sure to garner interest around the league, as teams hope to gain something by grabbing a championship-caliber coach out from Bill Belichick’s tutelage.
This year, Patricia just might be the No. 1 target of the Detroit Lions, who fired Jim Caldwell on Monday.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Lions GM Bob Quinn — a former Patriots personnel man himself — will hold an open search in looking for his next coach, but Patricia’s name is at the top of the list.
“Patricia’s the name that should be focused on the most, as far as my understanding,” Rapoport said. “One, they have a close relationship. Two, Patricia is a respected defensive mind. And three, and maybe just as important, they would be able to keep the offensive staff in place. [Offensive coordinator] Jim Bob Cooter and Matt Stafford obviously worked together incredibly well.”
Later, Rapoport added that another potential candidate for Detroit is former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel.
Rapoport also reported that after Chuck Pagano’s firing on Sunday, Josh McDaniels is expected to interview for the job.
Rapoport added to the report later on Monday, noting that the Cardinals will ask to interview Patricia as well.
It’s not just McDaniels and Patricia, either, as Adam Schefter reported that linebackers coach Brian Flores will get a call from the Cardinals.
The Indianapolis job is intriguing, because it could pair McDaniels with a franchise-caliber quarterback in Andrew Luck, provided Luck regains his health after missing all of the 2017 season.
Other teams with head coaching vacancies include the Bears, Cardinals and Giants. The Bengals may also soon need a head coach. The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio but reportedly will hire Jon Gruden as his replacement.