According to The Boston Globe, Patriots wide receivers coachBrian Daboll will leave the Patriots coaching staff to join the Jets in the upcoming 2007 season. Although the New England Patriots refused to comment on Daboll's potential departure to the Jets and the New York Jets could not be reached for comment, the decision comes shortly after the Patriots wrapped up a season in which the receiving corps struggled. In 2006, only two of the Patriots top four receivers were wideouts, with tight end Benjamin Watson finishing second on the team with 49 catches for 643 yards and three touchdowns. It was just the second time in the five seasons Daboll coached the Pats wide receivers that they didn't claim the top three slots on the team's receptions list. In 2005, the Patriots finished the regular season as the NFL's second-ranked passing offense. This season, however, the Pats passing attack finished ranked No. 12 in the NFL.
If in fact Daboll will be departing for the Jets, he'll be reuniting with former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, who took over as the head coach of the Jets prior to the 2006 season and led the team to an outstanding 10-6 record after the team posted a 4-12 record in the previous year. The Patriots ultimately knocked the Jets out of the playoffs in a 37-16 routing on Wild Card Weekend.
In 2006, coach Mangini lauded Daboll prior to both of the Jets regular season meetings with the Patriots, and at a press conference prior to that Wild Card game, again felt compelled to tout Daboll's talent.
"The receivers have made tremendous progress throughout the season," said Mangini on Jan. 3. "I've talked to you a lot about Brian Daboll and the work he does with the receivers. Regardless of who he works with or how it changes, they always perform at a very high level."
In addition to reuniting with Mangini, Daboll also has a connection to Jets tight end Chris Baker, who played for the Spartans while Daboll was coaching for Michigan State. Daboll worked on the coaching staff of William and Mary College in 1997 and spent the 1998 and '99 college seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Michigan State. He then made his NFL coaching debut with the Patriots in 2000, working as a defensive assistant during the '00 and '01 seasons. Over the last five seasons, Daboll made a name for himself as the Patriots wide receivers coach.
Bruschi to receive 2007 Wish Hero Award
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts announced Wednesday that it will honor Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi as the recipient of the 2007 Wish Hero Award. The award was established to honor individuals that "go to heroic efforts to bring hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions throughout the Commonwealth." Over the last year, Bruschi, a stroke survivor himself, met with two young boys suffering from serious heart conditions. The award will be presented to Bruschi at the 2007 Make-A-Wish Gala, held on March 3 at the InterContinental Boston.