New Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is staying on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator until the end of the season, but McDaniels could eventually replace him after this season.
O'Brien will call the plays the rest of this season.
McDaniels was previously the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in New England before becoming the Denver Broncos' head coach. He was the coach of the team during Tim Tebow's rookie year.
Tebow and the Broncos will visit the Patriots on Saturday in the AFC divisional playoffs.
McDaniels was fired by the Broncos during the 2010 campaign and had a fairly unproductive stint last season as the St. Louis Rams' offensive coordinator.
McDaniels was in charge of the offense in 2007 when New England set all-time NFL records for points scored (589) and touchdowns (75) during an undefeated regular season.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for Nick Saban at Michigan State in 1999. After two seasons with the Spartans, he joined Bill Belichick's staff in New England as a defensive coaching assistant who also assisted in the personnel department in 2001.
He moved into the coaching capacity as an assistant in 2002, and after two seasons as a coaching assistant, McDaniels was named New England's quarterbacks coach in 2004. The club promoted him to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in 2006.
During his three years (2006-08) as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, McDaniels directed a New England offense that led the NFL in points per game (28.8) while ranking second in the league in yards per game (370.8).
A native of Barberton, Ohio, McDaniels played wide receiver at John Carroll University from 1995 through 1998.
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