Patriots' Matt Patricia could still join Sean Payton's Broncos coaching staff

Matt Patricia could still join Sean Payton's Broncos coaching staff originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Denver Broncos did not hire Matt Patricia to be their new defensive coordinator, but that doesn't mean the New England Patriots coach won't work for the AFC West franchise in some capacity next season.

Patricia interviewed for the DC job, but the Broncos ultimately hired Vance Joseph.

Newly hired Broncos head coach Sean Payton was asked Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis if he could see Patricia coming to Denver in a different role, and he didn't shut it down.

“I would say it’s a little early to answer that,” Payton told reporters. “The question was: Do I still possibly envision a role for Matt? And we just got here. He and I are gonna talk this week, and I wouldn’t rule that out, though. If that possibly came to fruition, it would be for a few things. I’d certainly want to talk to Vance and our defensive coaches. But I know Matt well enough to know how smart he is and what he can contribute. So, we’ll see.”

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Payton also was very complimentary of Patricia's abilities, so it's clear he has plenty of respect for him.

“He’s outstanding,” Payton said. “I’ve known him for a long time. We practiced against the Patriots. I think he’s extremely talented. He’s a guy that, I think they’ve won (several) 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 (Ryan) made a lot of sense.”

Patricia was the Patriots' play-caller and de facto offensive coordinator last season. New England's offense was a disaster, highlighted by the regression of second-year quarterback Mac Jones. It was so bad that the Patriots hired Bill O'Brien to be the official offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

It's unclear what role Patricia will have with the Patriots in 2023 -- if he'll even have one at all. If it doesn't work out with the Patriots, it sounds like Payton has at least some level of interest in bringing Patricia to Denver.