Ted Johnson: Why Matt Patricia could become Patriots' next offensive coordinator


The NFL's longest-tenured offensive coordinator will be leading a brand-new unit and wearing different colors in 2022. The Las Vegas Raiders announced on Monday that Josh McDaniels, who's spent the past decade calling plays for the New England Patriots, has been hired as their next head coach.

The void left by McDaniels won't be easy to fill in Foxboro. Back in November, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick offered McDaniels some rather high praise, comparing him to his longtime friend Nick Saban, in regard to his knowledge of each player's on-field responsibilities. So, who's the leading candidate to replace McDaniels? Surprisingly, the answer may be an in-house defensive mind, according to former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson.

Podcast Episode
The DA Show Interviews
Ted Johnson on the departure of Josh McDaniels
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

"It's not a popular one, I'll be honest. But Matt Patricia, the former defensive coordinator here in New England who went to the Lions, of course, and didn't have very good success there with the Lions," Johnson told The DA Show on Tuesday. "He came back last year and is clearly Belichick's closest confidant. He's in the inner circle of inner circles, was really a jack of all trades for Bill, as far as contracts, personnel, and roster management this past season.

"He might be elevated to the offensive coordinator job, and maybe that's why they didn't stop Josh from going and pursuing that opportunity in Las Vegas... It sounds crazy. He does have some offense in his background -- it's going back a ways. He's coached defense for 15 years here. That might be a head-scratcher. But Bill likes to move guys from both the offensive and defensive side... He likes to have his coaches experienced on both sides of the ball..."

Patricia, who was fired before completing his third season as head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2020, served as the Patriots' defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2017. Prior to that promotion, he spent an additional eight seasons as an assistant on Belichick's staff, working with the offensive line, safeties, and linebackers. In 2021, Patricia took on the title of "senior football advisor."

Whomever is chosen as McDaniels' successor will be tasked with developing young quarterback Mac Jones, who just completed his rookie season. Jones was head and shoulders above his rookie competition, as he led all qualified first-year players in touchdowns (22), passing yards (3,801), and completions (352), and helped the Patriots clinch an AFC wild-card spot.

The entire Patriots conversation between Johnson and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The DA Show on Twitter @DAonCBS and @CBSSportsRadio, and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer / Staff / Getty Images