FOXBOROUGH — Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia spent part of the bye week focusing on their futures. Once the Patriots’ playoff opponent was determined, however, the coordinators shifted their thoughts to the present.
McDaniels met with the Colts, Giants, and Bears, while Patricia sat down with Giants, Lions, and Cardinals about their head coaching vacancies. It’s the second straight season the pair interviewed for multiple jobs.
McDaniels’s list of potential landing spots was pared by one Monday afternoon after the Bears hired Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy for their spot.
“No idea, really,’’ said McDaniels, when asked where he thought things stood with his candidacies. “You know, just obviously did what was allowed and then have kind of refocused on moving into this week and getting ready for Tennessee. So, I have no other information, and that’s about where it stands right now.’’
Patricia was appreciative of the opportunities.
“It’s always a learning experience, like when I’ve been through it before,’’ the defensive coordinator said. “You have an opportunity to learn about some other franchises and get a chance to talk about how they do things and really just kind of broaden you overall education of what the NFL and the different organizations are. So, it’s always a very informative process, and it’s interesting when you go through it.’’
Like McDaniels, Patricia said he’s now “full steam ahead on Tennessee.’’
Patricia, who has been linked most often to the Lions job, was vague when asked about his relationship with Detroit general manager Bob Quinn, who cut his NFL teeth with the Patriots.
“I have relationships with guys throughout then entire league, and I obviously like to maintain my relationships to the best of my ability,’’ he said. “But really, right now, my focus is on Tennessee and just trying to get ready for what we’ve got in front of us.’’
Step right up
With a dozen players in line to make their playoff debut for the Patriots this week, Matthew Slater was asked what message he sends to the younger players. The special teams captain said he takes his cue from the top.
“Well, Coach [Bill] Belichick always says, ‘It’s not about playoff experience, it’s about playoff execution,’ ’’ he said. “And you look at it time and time again, every year there seems to be a guy with not a great deal of playoff experience as far as games appeared in that’s making a huge play . . . Our message this week is just to go out there, make sure that you prepare at a high level all week long and then Saturday it’s about execution. It’s not about what you’ve done in the regular season or over the course of your career. It’s about executing Saturday night. Foxborough. Gillette Stadium. Loud fans. Cold. It’s about executing.’’
Here they come
Patrick Chung was impressed by what he saw from the Titans on Saturday night, watching them erase an 18-point deficit to erase the Chiefs from the postseason.
“Like Bill said, they’ve played two playoff games, one to get into and one to win,’’ said the veteran safety. “They’re a tough team, they’ve got a good coach, and they’ve got a lot of good players. They’ve got a good defense, so we can’t just lay down. We’ve got to go out play these guys.’’
Malcolm Butler called the Titans “a tough group that believes in themselves . . . We’ve just got to be ready to match their intensity.’’
Butler also called Titans cornerback Logan Ryan his “brother for life” but that the two needn’t be concerned with each other this week.
“I’m just worried about his receivers like he’s worried about mine,’’ he said.
Block and tackle
Center David Andrews said “commitment to this team” is the main reason the Patriots are able to block outside distractions. “No one’s in there for themselves,’’ said the captain. “We’re all in here to play for each other . . . we’ve got a great group of guys and we all know what the common end goal is here, and we’re not focused on other things outside of that.’’ . . . Receiver Julian Edelman made a rare appearance in the locker room during media availability and he had no hitch in his stride whatsoever.