Think back to February of 2005. Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, and Bill Belichick gathered in a celebratory embrace. A knowing look reveals that this will be the last time that all three of them will be on the same staff.
Crennel and Weis have subsequently moved through Cleveland and South Bend, respectively, to join the Foxboro West contingent in Kansas City, while Belichick is still looking for the right coaching mix to regain the Patriot’s Super Bowl form.
The Patriots have been without an officially named offensive coordinator since Josh McDaniels took the head-coaching job in Denver. Dean Pees left the team this winter, and no defensive coordinator has been named to replace him as of yet.
When asked yesterday about how things were going during OTA’s without coordinators, Belichick stated, “We’ve done what we’ve done. I think we’ve got a lot of work to do all the way around.” (full transcript here) Reading between the lines, I don’t think Bill is losing any sleep over not having named his coordinators.
While the names Matt Patricia (LB Coach) and Pepper Johnson (DL) have been thrown around, most expect Belichick to be the default DC in 2010. However, the name most often bandied about to be named offensive coordinator is current QB coach Bill O’Brien. The former Brown U defensive end/linebacker seems to be following the career path of McDaniels, going from QB coach, to QB coach with coordinator-esque responsibilities, to… something.
That said, O’Brien paints a slightly different picture. “I’m coaching the quarterbacks,” O’Brien said. “And it’s a collaborative effort with the other assistants — Dante (Scarnecchia), Ivan (Fears), Brian (Ferentz), Chad (O’Shea), Brian Flores, and obviously Bill (Belichick). We all work together and just try to determine what we have out there offensively and go to practice every day, try to accomplish certain goals every day, and that’s what we try to do. So, the role hasn’t changed.”
It will be very interesting to see if O’Brien will be calling the plays this year, and if not, what the initials on that hooded sweatshirt will read.