Coordinators can interview
Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel have been granted permission by Patriots officials to interview everywhere there is a coaching vacancy, but most immediately with the New York Giants, who may interview both coordinators as early as today. Crennel has received permission to interview in Atlanta for the Falcons job later in the week.
Under the new rule, which was written Dec. 18 at an owners meeting in Chicago, once a team grants permission for a coach to speak to one team regarding a head coaching vacancy, it must let him speak to all teams.
Teams must contact Patriots chief operating officer Andy Wasynczuk for permission to speak to a coach under contract to the team.
New England coach Bill Belichick, who already has said he would not stand in the way of one of his coordinators pursuing a head coaching position, said of the process, "I am not going to really get into a blow-by-blow commentary on that. The other teams have jobs available. How they decide to pursue them or who they talk to or don't talk to, I think should come from them. We will follow and comply with all of the league rules and policies."
He reiterated that he would grant the assistants permission to talk to the other teams. Asked whether the interviews could take away from preparation for the playoffs, since candidates have from now until Jan. 2 to interview, Belichick said, "Well, we will work around our schedule. We are going to get done what we need to do and we will work around that and accommodate whatever requests there happen to be."
While the Patriots will work tomorrow and Wednesday of this week, the coaches have Thursday and Friday to interview while the players are off.
The Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills could be two other teams looking to interview the coordinators, as both are expected to fire their head coaches. The Dolphins reportedly are going to retain Dave Wannstedt.
Accurate assessment Belichick on Adam Vinatieri's 24-yard miss in Saturday's 31-0 win over Buffalo: "I'm sure that is a kick that Adam would like to have back. Any time you send the field goal kicker and field goal team out there, you want to come away with points. That is the only reason to put them on the field. We want to make them, and he wants to make them, too. We will just keep working hard to try to get our accuracy and our execution on that whole play as high as we possibly can." . . . The Patriots already have had scouts looking at possible opponents. After yesterday, Belichick was able to home in on the teams he may face, the Ravens, Titans, and Broncos. "There are a lot of things we want to get done, but I think we can get them done at a pace where everybody can be rested and be ready to head into next week's regular normal preparation for a game and be prepared and be as rested as possible at this time of year," Belichick said. "We have been going here for quite a while. I don't think you can catch it all up in one evening. I think we can manage it. We are definitely not going on vacation this week."
Taking long view Belichick doesn't usually just watch the games on television because, he said, "TV scouting is hard to do. It is hard to see where everybody is and how exactly everything fits together like you would be able to see it when we watch film." . . . Belichick said he didn't think his team had any major injuries to worry about over the bye. There was some concern that linebacker Mike Vrabel might have re-broken his arm, but it never healed fully. Vrabel, who has had a great season, should be able to play in the first playoff game, likely Saturday night, Jan. 10.
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