Bye week means job search for Patriots assistant coaches

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — It’s another bye week for the New England Patriots, and that means time for Bill Belichick’s assistants to interview for head coaching jobs.

Both offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia are expected to be coveted by the six or more teams looking to fill openings this offseason. With the Patriots off until their divisional playoff game on Jan. 13, McDaniels and Patricia will have a chance to make their case.

“There’s a time and a place for all of that,” McDaniels said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “My focus here when I come into this building will always be on what’s best for the Patriots and trying to do what I can to help us prepare to play our best game the next time we go out on the field.”

McDaniels and Patricia said Monday morning that they hadn’t heard from any suitors yet. Coach Bill Belichick praised his assistants and said, “We’ll see how it goes.”

McDaniels has gone through this before, when he was hired to coach the Denver Broncos in 2009; he lasted less than two seasons. As a top assistant in one of the most successful regimes in NFL history, he is annually a top target, including last year when he interviewed with the Jaguars and 49ers while the Patriots were on their way to a fifth Super Bowl victory.

Patricia brushed aside questions about his next job, saying he was concentrating on his current one.

“None of that is even really applicable for me right now because I don’t have any information on that,” he said a day after Sunday’s 26-6 victory over the New York Jets left New England at 13-3 and the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

“I’m in normal mode — came in and graded the Jets,” Patricia said. “(I’m) working to make sure that we have a good, productive week this week and try to improve those things.”

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