Patriots' Brady-Belichick-Kraft continuity to be tested after Super Bowl wraps up

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Continuity was the theme of Super Bowl opening night for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, but even if quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and Kraft stick together beyond the 2017 season as promised, the Patriots' continuity will be tested in other ways after Super Bowl LII wraps up in Minneapolis.

Both of New England's coordinators are expected to leave for head-coaching jobs in February, with defensive coordinator Matt Patricia headed to Detroit and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to Indianapolis, according to sources.

For the past 18 years, the Patriots have formed a dynasty backed by the same owner, head coach and quarterback. In his ninth trip to the Super Bowl with his franchise vying for a sixth title, Kraft pointed to the difficulty of maintaining such stability at the top of an organization for nearly two decades.

"Continuity is so hard," Kraft said. "I don't know that there's any other relationship like that in the NFL with just one of those -- with a head coach or a quarterback. To have both of them, we're pretty lucky up in New England."

This isn't the first time top assistants have been plucked away from Foxborough after successful stints with the Patriots, and Kraft isn't sweating the inevitable changes. After New England won its third Super Bowl in a span of four years in 2004, then-defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel (Cleveland) and offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss (Notre Dame) tested their luck as head coaches the following season.

"I think we've had five or six of our people are either general managers or head coaches at other teams," Kraft said. "It's a credit, as long as we don't populate the whole league, but if we're worthy, I mean, I think it's a great credit to Bill and the coaching staff for what they've been able to accomplish."

Patricia deflected questions about his future Monday night, directing his focus toward preparing for the Philadelphia Eagles. He did, however, discuss the influence Belichick has had on him since he joined the Patriots in 2004.

"Since the day I got here, Coach Belichick has been an absolute help in all aspects of navigating my life," Patricia said. "I've learned so much from him, and I know I can go to him for any kind of advice or any help at all."

If Sunday ends up being Brady's last game with McDaniels, the Patriots quarterback said he's going to try to make the most of their opportunity to create one more special memory. To do that, Brady said, is going to take a win, which McDaniels has had plenty of in New England.

"He and I have been so much in the moment," Brady said. "We haven't talked too much about the future and his plans and so forth. He's a great coach. He should get a lot of opportunities because when you're a great coach, that's what you get."

McDaniels started his NFL career with the Patriots in 2001 as a personnel assistant before moving onto the defensive side a year later. His first stint as a head coach in Denver, where he compiled an 11-17 record from 2009-10, has been the focal point of conversations in recent weeks about how much he has grown as a coach and what his experiences since then have done to prepare him for what's inevitably next.

"I think I've learned how to channel those types of things [emotions] the right way," McDaniels said. "I'm still as emotional as the next guy, but I try to channel things in a way that's as positive and productive as possible for our team and our offense."

Longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia also isn't sure if he will return in 2018.

Asked if he would be back, he said:

"I don't know. We'll worry about that after the game. Right now I'm really happy to be here and be focused on the Eagles."

ESPN's Dan Graziano, Mike Reiss and Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.