Even before Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts after agreeing to terms a few days ago, there was plenty of chatter about him perhaps being the top choice to succeed Bill Belichick as the leader of the Patriots.

The chatter and rumors certainly got louder since McDaniels opted to return to New England. There are a number of articles out there on why McDaniels ultimately decided to return, and range from the health of Colts quarterback Andrew Lucks’s arm, to Belichick offering to mentor McDaniels closely on the intricacies of stuff that helped build the Patriots organization like roster construction and salary cap management (according to Boston.com).

So what are the chances he’s ultimately chosen to succeed one of the most successful coaches in NFL history when he decided to hang up the whistle?

Well Albert Breer, a very well regarded NFL insider, put the odds of McDaniels being the next head coach in New England at 95% – again, when Belichick decides to walk away.

Breer goes on to add that he really believes that McDaniels was truly ready to leave and move on the last three or four months, but “new information” gathered in the few days ultimately changed that outlook.

Belichick is 65 years old and has led the organization since 2000. From the outside looking in, and based on stories many like to share of his fanatical attention to detail and preparation, he shows no signs of slowing down or hanging it up anytime soon – but that can also change in a hurry.

Of course, McDaniels previously left the Pats for the head coaching job with the Broncos. He went 8-8 the first year and was let go after a 3-9 start to the 2009 campaign. From there he spent a year as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Rams before rejoining Belichick in New England. Other than those stints in Denver and St. Louis, and beginning his career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 1999, McDaniels has spent his entire coaching career with the Patriots organization, first as a personnel assistant, then a defensive assistant before being promoted to quarterbacks coach and eventually offensive coordinator.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.