Against all odds, it seems Bill Belichick will be able to retain the heart of his coaching staff in 2016.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will prepare to face the Broncos -- a team he used to be the head coach of. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who interviewed for the opening in Cleveland, will be right alongside him with nothing else in mind.
"I'm just really focused on Denver," Patricia said, via The Boston Herald. "That was a couple weeks ago, whatever the situation was there. We've got a big challenge in front of us here in trying to get ready for the Broncos. That's really not a question that's pertinent to this week, so that's really the Broncos."
Added McDaniels: "I think that stuff's all kind of in the past now, and I'm focused strictly on this game and this week. I think all those things will play out in due time."
While Patricia's name was relatively new to the head-coaching buzz circuit, McDaniels repeated almost verbatim what he said at the Super Bowl last year -- at that time, everyone was almost certain he'd be preparing to run his own team in 2016.
New England's recent string of success is in large part thanks to the defense Bill Belichick has put together over the last three years. Outside of the Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson combination, the platoon of Jamie Collins, Dont'a Hightower and Jerod Mayo might be the best linebacking core in the NFL.
But how valuable has it been to keep the same coordinator for that unit since 2012 despite the team winning a Super Bowl last year and going 12-4 every year since Patricia took over?
How valuable has it been to keep the coordinator that designed the No. 1 scoring offense in 2012, the No. 3 scoring offense in 2013, the No. 4 scoring offense in 2014 and the No. 3 scoring offense of 2015?
When the Patriots skate past massive injuries, many people compliment the depth on the roster. But what about coordinators who know the scheme so well that they can simply figure out how to keep rolling with one broken wheel? Belichick likely wants the best for everyone working underneath him, but as he continues to rack up wins and conference title game appearances, this has to be music to his ears.