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Broncos coach Sean Payton still might hire Matt Patricia in some capacity

Matt Patricia's future in New England is uncertain.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

INDIANAPOLIS — Sean Payton hired Vance Joseph to be his defensive coordinator in Denver, but the newly minted Broncos coach left open the possibility that Matt Patricia also could join his staff.

Payton said Tuesday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine that he plans to speak again with Patricia, who interviewed for the defensive coordinator spot with Payton last week, about a potential coaching role.

“I wouldn’t rule that out,” Payton said. “I know Matt well enough to know how smart he is and what he can contribute, so we’ll see.”

Patricia certainly would get a favorable endorsement from Patriots coach Bill Belichick.


“Matt’s a really good football coach who I have a ton of respect for,” Belichick told the Globe Tuesday when asked for his reaction to Payton’s comments. “He’s helped us win a lot of games and championships with the Patriots.”

Patricia, who served as senior football adviser, offensive line coach, and play-caller with the Patriots last season, was part of a group of four that Payton interviewed before going with Joseph. The other finalists were former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan and Seahawks associate head coach Sean Desai.

Payton said he plans to chat with Patricia this week. He also wants to consult with Joseph and the rest of his defensive staff about the potential addition.

Patricia’s future in New England is uncertain after his two primary responsibilities from last season were filled by the hiring of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and offensive line coach Adrian Klemm.

Could Matt Patricia still end up with the Broncos?MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Patricia could remain in an advisory role, but a job on the sideline with the Patriots seems unlikely. On defense, where Patricia made his bones, the Patriots are set with Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick serving as de facto coordinators.

A return to the defensive side would make sense for Patricia, who served as New England’s defensive coordinator for six seasons, winning three Super Bowl championships before being hired as the Lions’ head coach.


Payton said he knew “right away” that he wanted to interview Patricia because of that experience, as well as their strong relationship.

“He’s outstanding,” Payton said. “I’ve known him for a long time. We practiced against the Patriots [during the 2015 preseason]. I think he’s extremely talented. He’s a guy that won [three] Super Bowls while he was calling defenses.

“So, that was easy. Like, I knew right away I wanted to interview Matt. I knew right away I wanted to interview Vance. I’ve known those guys. Rex made a lot of sense.”

Nicole Yang can be reached at her @nicolecyang. Jim McBride can be reached at Follow him @globejimmcbride.