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Patriots OC Josh McDaniels Expected to Go to Titans, Bill Belichick Protecting the Future

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This morning we highlighted that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was trending towards staying with the Patriots for another year, with one caveat:

If former Patriots Assistant Director of College Scouting Jon Robinson, currently with the Buccaneers, takes the Tennessee Titans job, he could pry McDaniels away from New England.

The Titans role is a great situation with a young quarterback in Marcus Mariota, a talented defensive roster and staff led by Ray Horton and Dick LeBeau, and the first overall pick. Robinson understands how McDaniels thinks and would be better able to build the perfect roster. The scuttlebutt around the league is that McDaniels really likes the Titans job.

And this opportunity comes down to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick protecting his staff and the team's future.

McDaniels flamed out in Denver because he didn't understand how to be a head coach. He wanted to build the team from the ground up and ended up isolating every player that mattered. He has since learned better people skills, but he's on his last chance; if he doesn't work out in Tennessee, he'll probably be a coordinator for the rest of his career.

The 49ers and Browns have both tried to hire McDaniels over the past few seasons, but there have been some serious issues with front office relationships in both locations. Belichick has advised McDaniels to find the situation where communication and trust would be greater, and where ownership would let the football minds do their job. Belichick wants to protect his own.

And New England already has a built in protection in place with tight ends coach Brian Daboll, the likely successor to McDaniels. Daboll was the Patriots wide receivers coach from 2002-2006 and was the runner-up for the offensive coordinator position in 2007 (that went to McDaniels!). He bounced around the league as an offensive coordinator before coming back to New England in 2013.

Belichick understood that McDaniels wouldn't be around for ever and started to groom a plan for the future. Daboll even called the shots on offense during the fourth preseason game, which is equivalent to a back-up center playing an entire preseason game just in case. Experience never hurts.

So even if McDaniels departs this offseason, the Patriots won't skip a beat. Belichick has the Patriots protected.

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[UPDATE] According to Adam Schefter, Jon Robinson will indeed become the next general manager of the Tennessee Titans:

Buccaneers director of player personnel Jon Robinson and Titans just agreed in principle to a general manager deal, per sources.

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