There’s a good chance New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels only has one more shot to become a head coaching fixture in the NFL. He has to make his next opportunity count.

McDaniels flamed out after just 28 games as head coach of the Denver Broncos in 2009 and 2010, and if he fails in his next stop, then it’s almost certainly two strikes and he’s out of chances.

McDaniels already is being rumored as a candidate to fill the New York Giants’ vacancy. It seems to be a good option for McDaniels. Eli Manning is still under contract, and the Giants have played poorly enough that McDaniels and whoever takes over as general manager can handpick the quarterback’s successor. Owner John Mara is one of the league’s top power brokers.

But it’s not McDaniels’ best shot at becoming a successful and potentially revered head coach. That would come in New England should he and current director of player personnel Nick Caserio take over as a tandem for Bill Belichick when the Patriots’ current head coach retires.

McDaniels and Caserio have known each other and worked closely since Caserio beat out McDaniels as John Carroll University’s starting quarterback in the 1990s. It’s likely starting quarterback Tom Brady will be gone by the time Belichick retires, but the system still will be in place. And one of the most underrated aspects of the Patriots’ historic run of success is their continuity. And that’s not only among players.

The Patriots like to promote from within their organization. In the rare instance an assistant coach leaves, the franchise-wide next-man-up approach applies. A coaching assistant fills in and no one skips a beat. The Patriots currently have four coaching assistants on their staff, including Belichick’s youngest son Brian.

If Dante Scarnecchia retires (again) by the time McDaniels would take over, then Cole Popovich could be in his place. If Matt Patricia leaves as defensive coordinator, perhaps Brian Flores or Steve Belichick would be the next man up. Everyone has learned within the same School of Belichick, including McDaniels and Caserio themselves.