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Mr. Laz
12-04-2004, 12:58 PM
Belichick Associates Are Highly Coveted

4 Coaches May Be in Line for Top Jobs

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 4, 2004; Page D05

As Bill Belichick tries to coach the New England Patriots to a third Super Bowl title in four years, four of his current or former assistant coaches will be among the top candidates for NFL teams looking for head coaches in the coming weeks.

Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive boss Romeo Crennel might land head coaching jobs if clubs are willing to wait for the Patriots' season to end. Two college head coaches who once worked for Belichick with the Cleveland Browns -- LSU's Nick Saban and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz -- continue to be sought after by NFL executives despite league-wide skepticism about college coaches following Steve Spurrier's failure with the Washington Redskins in 2002 and 2003.

Weis and Crennel were passed over when seven NFL teams hired new head coaches last winter, in part because of the league rules that, in effect, kept them off the job market during the Patriots' run to a second Super Bowl triumph in three years. Belichick's top two lieutenants get what amounts to an in-person, on-the-field job interview Sunday when the Patriots face the Browns in Cleveland.

Cleveland's coach, Butch Davis, resigned this week as part of a financial settlement with Browns owner Randy Lerner. Browns President John Collins said that the club will be willing to wait until after the Feb. 6 Super Bowl, if necessary, to hire a new coach.

"We're open to seeing who in fact are the best people for this organization and this city," Collins said this week. "If that means waiting, we'll wait."

Teams usually are unwilling to wait so long to hire a head coach, wanting to get started on assembling a staff and readying for free agency and the draft. The Buffalo Bills apparently were prepared to hire Weis last winter, but hired Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey instead when Weis remained unavailable for so long.

The plight of the New England coordinators led for calls for the league to revise its tampering rules, which allow an assistant on a team that's in the playoffs to have one interview with each club interested in him for a head coaching position, but not to have a second interview or accept a job. Weis and Crennel said they wanted to see the rules changed to level the playing field for all candidates, either enabling assistants on playoff clubs to have second interviews and accept jobs or putting a league-wide moratorium on all hiring until after the Super Bowl.

The league's competition committee discussed the issue but made no changes, not wanting to potentially hurt playoff teams by allowing their assistant coaches to perhaps focus more on the job market than on postseason games. Competition committee members said they sympathized with the affected coaches but saw no solution that would make everyone happy. The tampering rules already were loosened once in recent years, allowing for the single interview during the playoffs.

The Browns will be led this weekend by interim coach Terry Robiskie, who went 1-2 as the Redskins' interim coach in 2000 after Norv Turner was fired. Robiskie probably will not be considered for the job on a more permanent basis. The Miami Dolphins also will be looking for a coach after last month's resignation of Dave Wannstedt, who was replaced on an interim basis by Jim Bates.

Saban served as the Browns' defensive coordinator for four seasons under Belichick between 1991 and '94 before becoming the head coach at Michigan State. The '94 Browns went 11-5 -- Belichick's only winning season in five years in Cleveland -- and surrendered the fewest points in the league that season. Saban also worked for the Houston Oilers for two seasons in the late '80s. Ferentz was Belichick's offensive line coach in Cleveland between 1993 and '95, then followed the franchise to Baltimore (without Belichick) and was the Ravens' offensive line coach under Ted Marchibroda from '96 to '98 before taking the Iowa job.

Spurrier went 12-20 in two seasons with the Redskins before resigning last offseason, and no college coaches were among the seven new head coaches hired by NFL teams last winter. But the NFL's post-Spurrier wariness doesn't apply to Saban and Ferentz because of their backgrounds.

"These guys aren't Steve Spurrier," one NFL general manager said this week, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he might have to deal with Spurrier in the future and didn't want to offend him. "Spurrier was a college coach. These guys aren't just college coaches. They're pro coaches, too. I mean, what could be better right now than hiring a Belichick guy?"

Calcountry
12-04-2004, 02:09 PM
I think we should suck it up with Dick for another year.

go bowe
12-04-2004, 03:02 PM
I think we should suck it up with Dick for another year.ya got that right...

we're gonna suck for another year...




oh, you said suck it up...

never mind...

dtebbe
12-04-2004, 04:34 PM
I think we should suck it up with Dick for another year.

Are you sure you didn't mean STINK it up with Dick for another year?

DT

Skip Towne
12-04-2004, 04:41 PM
Nah, Bob Stoops is the man. He's already attending practices just like DV did.