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Patriots Offensive Coordinator: Josh McDaniels Reportedly Top Choice To Replace Bill O'Brien

All signs point to Josh McDaniels replacing Bill O'Brien as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator after this season, reports the Boston Globe.

O'Brien accepted an offer from Penn State to become the Nittany Lions' next head football coach, opening a position in New England. The Patriots quickly turned to the familiar McDaniels, requesting permission to speak to him from the St. Louis Rams.

McDaniels, who served on the Patriots' staff for eight seasons, including three as the team's offensive coordinator, still has a year remaining on his contract with the Rams but the Globe reports the Rams are expected to release him from his deal.

After leaving his first stint with the Patriots to become head coach of the Denver Broncos, McDaniels was fired twelve games into his second season for failing to live up to expectations. He became the Rams' offensive coordinator prior to this season. He is viewed as a talented offensive mind, and his work in New England -- particularly during New England's 16-0 regular season in 2007 and the following year, when McDaniels helped coax 11 wins despite a season-ending injury to Tom Brady -- was admirable.

O'Brien will continue his role as Patriots offensive coordinator for the remainder of the NFL playoffs.

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