It seems there could be a mass exodus near the top of the New England Patriots’ coaching and personnel departments this offseason.
Patriots offensive and defensive coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia reportedly are getting looks from multiple teams with head coaching vacancies. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores reportedly is receiving head coaching interest from the Arizona Cardinals. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort reportedly are in the running for the Houston Texans’ general manager opening.
So, who’s next in line for those positions should any of them leave for better opportunities elsewhere?
Let’s start with offensive coordinator, where there’s really two options. The Patriots could promote Chad O’Shea from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator. Or they could pluck Brian Daboll, who served as tight ends coach prior to this season, from Alabama, where he currently serves as offensive coordinator.
O’Shea has been the Patriots’ wide receivers coach since 2009. He previously worked with the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. He began his coaching career in the college ranks at Houston and Southern Mississippi.
Daboll’s NFL coaching career began as a defensive coaching assistant with the Patriots in 2000. He was wide receivers coach from 2002 to 2006 before being hired away by the New York Jets as quarterbacks coach in 2007. He was the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2010, the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator in 2011 and the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2012. He was brought back to the Patriots as an offensive assistant in 2013 and was the tight end’s coach from 2014 to 2016. This is his first year as Alabama’s offensive coordinator.
The Patriots also could promote assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schulpinksi to McDaniels’ position as quarterbacks coach.
On the defensive side of the ball, Flores would be the most likely replacement for Patricia. Steve Belichick could then be promoted from safeties coach to linebackers coach.
Cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer, who’s been with the team since 2006, also could take over as defensive coordinator. A third option would be foregoing a defensive coordinator with Bill Belichick serving that role, as he did in 2010 and 2011.
Flores has been with the Patriots since 2004. He’s served as a scouting assistant, pro scout, special teams assistant, assistant offense and special teams, defensive assistant, safeties coach and linebackers coach. He’s been in his current position since 2016.
It’s also at least worth mentioning Eric Mangini, who served as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator in 2005 before leaving for the New York Jets, currently is out of a job. It seems highly unlikely Belichick would hire him back, since they haven’t spoken since 2007, when Mangini helped spark the Spygate controversy, but he’s out there.
If Caserio gets hired away, then Ossenfort could step into his role as director of player personnel. Dave Ziegler, who serves as the Patriots’ director of pro personnel, is another in-house option if Ossenfort gets hired away.
The Patriots’ continuity in their coaching staff has been a strength in recent years. There could be turnover coming, however.