Patriots prepare for Josh McDaniels to leave (unless he doesn’t, again)

McDaniels spent one year in St. Louis as the Rams offensive coordinator in 2011, before returning to New England to resume the same position the following year, a role he's held since.

This year, McDaniels is back in play.

Team president Mark Murphy and GM Brian Gutekunst interviewed seven candidates between Friday and Sunday: McDaniels and Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores on Friday, Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Saturday and former Dolphins coach Adam Gase and Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur on Sunday. The Canton Repository, however, has reported that there's mutual interest between McDaniels and the Browns. "So, if he goes, who takes over for McDaniels?"

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If McDaniels does end up leaving, Florio named Kliff Kingsbury, who recently became the University of Southern California's offensive coordinator, as a possible replacement. The Patriots selected Kingsbury in the 2003 NFL Draft, but he struggled in a short, injury-plagued career before coaching at the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University. He's most known for his success as a head coach at Texas Tech, beginning in 2013, but was sacked after this season. He compiled an overall record of 11-17 in less than two seasons and was sacked 12 games into the 2010 season.

His "Air-Raid" offensive certainly could bring a jolt of life to a Patriots offense that appeared punchless at times this season.

As for McDaniels, the openings in Green Bay and Cleveland both are enticing openings and the smart money would be on him linking up with Aaron Rodgers or Baker Mayfield for Round 2 as an National Football League head coach.

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