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Patriots have the 2 top head coaching candidates in the NFL

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The Patriots are fortunate to have depth on the roster and in the coaching ranks.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are fortunate that both offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have been with the franchise for so long. Both have been with the team since their early dynasty and both have held their current coordinator roles since 2012.

They’re also the top two head coaching candidates for 2018 according to Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko.

1. Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator, New England Patriots (age 41): New England’s offensive coordinator since 2012, McDaniels could have had just about any job in the NFL he wanted for the past three offseasons, but hasn’t found the right fit. He’s technically a re-tread after a humbling two-year stint in Denver, but at 41 with a PhD in Belichick-Brady football, he’s far and away the No. 1 coaching free agent.

2. Matt Patricia, defensive coordinator, New England Patriots (age 43): New England’s defensive play-caller runs a bend- don’t-break unit that gets aggressive in the red zone and allowed the fewest points in the NFL last year. He’s a renowned expert on offensive line protections.

The Patriots have prepared for both coaches to leave for head coaching positions over the past few seasons and next year is going to be another opportunity for McDaniels and Patricia to move on.

New England would expect wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea to be the offensive offensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brian Flores to be the defensive coordinator. That is assuming that neither leave with McDaniels or Patricia for the new franchise.