For the Patriots, the message remains to “do your job.” And if that job is done well enough, a better job is looming.
That’s why the leading candidates to replace offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia come from within the walls of Gillette Stadium. On the offensive side, receivers coach Chad O’Shea has emerged as the favorite. Assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplisnki was regarded as having an outside shot at replacing McDaniels (who also served as quarterbacks coach); amid reports that Schuplinski is heading to Indy with McDaniels, O’Shea becomes the top candidate.
Defensively, it has been presumed that linebackers coach Brian Flores will take the next step. Last week, talk emerged of coach Bill Belichick interviewing Ohio State assistant Greg Schiano for the job. The current thinking is that, if Schiano joins the team, he’d have a different position — possibly assistant head coach and de facto defensive coordinator in waiting.
Regardless of how it plays out, the Patriots will be replacing both coordinators for the first time since 2004, when Charlie Weis left for Notre Dame and Romeo Crennel became the new coach in Cleveland.