For a while now, the suspicion has been that Josh McDaniels could be the next coach of the New England Patriots.

But, what if it’s Steve Belichick instead.

Especially when McDaniels left the Indianapolis Colts at the alter to return to Foxboro as the offensive coordinator for the Pats, it seemed like a guarantee that he would be the heir apparent to Bill Belichick.

But in a conversation Wednesday on “PFT Live,” Mike Florio indicated he “got the sense” this past season that Steve might take over for Bill, not McDaniels.

Chris Simms was on the same page.

“I feel like that is why Josh McDaniels got into the head coaching conversation, that maybe he saw a little bit of the writing on the wall that, ‘Woo, Steve Belichick is rising up the ranks and I might be the one without a seat here,’” Simms said, via WEEI.com. “Added to the fact that I think there are a number of people in football that look at it right now and think Belichick kind of screwed over Josh McDaniels with the coaching hires this year anyway — making him stay in the building, didn’t let him go down to Carolina and interview, never got a chance to interview with the New York Giants. So, those are things I look at too and go. ‘Man, how can Josh be happy with Bill Belichick at this point now?’ I think that would favor Steve Belichick even more.”

So much with the Patriots is unpredictable nowadays that Steve Belichick leapfrogging McDaniels wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world.

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