New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn't a stranger to his staff interviewing for head coaching jobs during the playoffs. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are atop the wish lists of multiple teams around the league and they are allowed to interview over the bye week. Once the wild card games are completed, they will not be able to interview until after the Patriots season.
Belichick won't let the interviews disrupt the Patriots postseason plans.
"Well I mean look, there are things that go on throughout the course of the year that you periodically have to deal with one way or another," Belichick said on Tuesday. "[Coaching interviews] is one of them. It's certainly not unprecedented - there are a lot of other teams in the league that are going through the same thing, we've gone through it before, so we'll just take it as it comes. We know what our goals are and what our focus is, and we'll take these other things as they come through. Like I said, I don't think it's anything that's that unprecedented."
The Patriots won the 2003 and 2004 Super Bowls with offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel interviewing elsewhere. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien interviewed during the 2011 Super Bowl run. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels interviewed during the 2014 Super Bowl season.
"We have an important game to get ready for here in a week and a half," Belichick said. "And that's what we're going to do, so whatever anybody else is doing, we'll abide by the rules that the league has set up for those situations, and those things are really out of our control."
The Patriots will still operate at full capacity in the divisional round and these interviews won't disrupt the preparation. It is what it is.