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Belichick fires Parker

After meeting with the assistant coaches individually on Friday, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick informed strength and conditioning coach Johnny Parker that he was free to seek employment elsewhere.

The move came as a surprise since the two had experience working together both with the Giants from 1984-91 and in 1996 here in New England. Parker is
highly respected in his field and former coach Bill Parcells wanted to keep him in 1997 when he left the Patriots to join the New York Jets. Parker opted to stay behind, citing his desire to make the Boston area his home.

Belichick spoke with each member of the staff, either explaining that he didn't have jobs for them or that they would be under consideration to stay.

Defensive line coach Ray Hamilton, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and assistant line coach Jeff Davidson are among those Belichick is considering keeping. Belichick also confirmed reports Friday afternoon that former Jets offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive assistant Eric Mangini will be coming to New England. Both have verbal agreements with the Patriots will be part of Belichick's staff. Also, Berj Najarian, a former Jets public relations assistant, will be hired as Belichick's personal administrator.

The significance of Belichick's decision to fire Parker is that he appears to have the complete control of a general manager despite not having that title as of yet. The Patriots will continue speaking with former Pittsburgh Director of Football Operations Tom Donahoe and hope to convince him to take the job. Donahoe is mulling the Patriots offer as well as a similar position in Miami. He is said to be close with new Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt, which could influence his decision.

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