So the Patriots won't be playing in Championship Sunday or Super Bowl Sunday. And for the first time since 2002 the Patriots played no January football.
So the Patriots have been in the middle of coaching talks. Of course they are not looking for a head coach, instead teams are looking at the Patriots to fill their own vacancies. We know that Scott Pioli will leave his job in New England to take the same job in Kansas City. Why? Many people would not leave the success they are experiencing for a team who is not even in the same league. Maybe he just wants a new challenge and maybe he wants to prove he can do it with out this other guy, you may have heard of him: Bill Belichick. And we also know about offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. McDaniels heads to Denver to become the head guy.
But what about the other guys who have gone off to do their own thing? The guys who left Belichick before have not always done that well.
Here is how some of his former assistants have faired:
Eric Mangini. Mangini went to be the head coach of the New York Jets and he was loved for a little while, beating his former teacher twice. He also was part of spy gate. As the Jets head man for three years he finished 23-25 and lost the only playoff game he coached. He was fired at the end of this season by the Jets. Next season he will be the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Charlie Weis. Weis left the Patriots to become the head coach of Notre Dame. In his four seasons with the Fighting Irish the team is 29-21. There has been talk about Weis being fired at the end of this season, but it looks like next year he will be the big guy in Notre Dame.
Nick Saban. Saban worked under Belichick in the early 90’s in Cleveland. Saban coached Michigan State from 1995-1999 where he went 34-24-1. He then coached LSU from 2000-2004 and went a great 48-16. For the 2005 and 2006 season’s Saban coached the Miami Dolphins and went 15-17 in those two years. He then went back two the college ranks and has coached Alabama for the last two years and has gone 19-8 in that time.
Kirk Fertentz. Ferentz worked for Belichick in Cleveland as well. He has only been the head coach of college programs. Before working in Cleveland he was the head coach at Maine and went 12-21 in three seasons. After his Cleveland days he was named the head coach at Iowa. In ten years with Iowa he has gone 70-53. Rumors have surfaced this year that he is a possibility to be the Chiefs head coach next year. If you listen to history Belicheck assistants fair better as college coaches.
Al Groh. Groh was the head coach at Wake Forest from 1981-1986. He was 26-40 in that time. Groh then worked for Belichick in Cleveland. In 2000 he was named the head coach of the New York Jets. He stayed for only one season and went 9-7. He is the only former Belichick assistant to have a winning record in the NFL. Since then Groh has been the head coach for the Virginia Cavaliers. At Virginia he has recorded a 56-43 record.
Pat Hill. Hill worked under Belichick in Cleveland as well. He has coached Fresno State for the last twelve seasons and has a 92-61 record.
Romeo Crennel. Crennel was part of the Patriots Dynasty that won three Super Bowls. He was named the head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2005 and coached them for four seasons. In those four years the Browns went 24-40 and finished above .500 only once, never making the playoffs.
Only one of Belichicks assistants has gone on to have a winning record in the NFL. While Belichick has been losing assistants every year he has been able to keep his teams at the top of their game. Belichick may be one of the greatest coaches ever to coach, his assistants get a ton of credit and are always up for other jobs, but maybe they need Belichick to be great. It is also worth noting that Rob Ryan, Jim Shwartz (named Lions coach today), and Jeff Davidson all served under Belichick as well.
Scott Pioli and Josh McDaniels are great NFL minds and I wish them luck.