NFL: Patriots assistants to become coaches?

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

The Indianapolis Colts are close to hiring Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as coach, the Associated Press reported.

McDaniels went 11-17 in two seasons as Denver’s head coach in 2009-10. Since he returned to New England for a second stint in 2012, the Patriots have reached six consecutive conference championship games and won two Super Bowls.

Matt Patricia, the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, declined to confirm or deny reports he’ll be the new Detroit Lions coach.

“I went through the process that the NFL allows us to go through and during the bye week I was able to have the opportunity to talk to a couple teams, which I did,” he said on a conference call.


Patricia, who also interviewed for the head coaching jobs with the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, has a longstanding relationship with Lions general manager Bob Quinn.

The Patriots were 29th in total defense this season but allowed the fifth-fewest points, and they have ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense in each of Patricia’s six seasons as defensive coordinator.

Norton’s about-face

Ken Norton Jr., who joined the San Francisco 49ers as linebackers coach a week ago, is going to the Seattle Seahawks to be their defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.


Norton, who served as Seattle’s linebackers coach from 2010-14, was fired as the Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator in November. His homecoming with the 49ers, for whom he played several seasons, was trumped by a more lucrative one. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Norton got permission to leave.


Georgia linebacker Ro-quan Smith, the Butkus Award winner, will enter the draft. ... Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane was arrested on investigation of DUI.