The New England Patriots expect offensive coordinator Matt Patricia to leave after this season and possibly take over the head-coaching job with the Detroit Lions. According to Pro Football Talk, the Lions are looking for a defensive-minded head coach like Patricia, who has a degree in aeronautical engineering from Rennselaer Polytechnic. Patricia is regarded as brilliant in all matters and believed to be more than ready for a head-coaching job, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Patricia joined the Patriots in 2004 as an offensive assistant before taking on different roles with the team.

He also worked as assistant offensive line coach, linebackers coach, and safeties coach before taking over the defensive coordinator post in 2012.

Currently, five of the Lions’ seven head-coaching candidates are from the defensive side of the ball. Aside from Patricia, the other four are Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, and Green Bay Packers assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss. The Lions are also eyeing their current offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as replacement for Jim Caldwell, who was fired after they missed the playoffs this season with a 9-7 record.

Patricia has good working relationship with Lions GM

Also, Patricia has a good relationship with Lions general manager Bob Quinn, who previously worked for the Patriots. If they are keen on hiring Patricia, the Lions will have to wait until the end of the season to sign him with the Patriots still seeing action in the postseason.

If Patricia leaves the Patriots, expect head coach Bill Belichick to promote linebackers coach Brian Flores in his place. However, Flores is also being eyed by the Arizona Cardinals for their vacant head-coaching position. The Lions already interviewed Patricia on Friday. Aside from the Lions, the New York Giants and the Cardinals were expected to interview Patricia on Saturday.

McDaniels could also leave

Aside from Patricia, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could also leave the team to get his second head-coaching stint. The Giants, Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts interviewed McDaniels during the Patriots’ bye week. The Tennessee Titans were also reported to be interested in pursuing McDaniels if they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card game. However, Titans’ head coach Mike Mularkey’s job as head coach is safe after they beat the Chiefs, 22-21.