FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots hired two coaches today, appointing Joel Collier to the position of assistant secondary coach and naming Harold Nash the team's assistant strength and conditioning coach. Additionally, the Patriots released defensive back Earthwind Moreland, defensive lineman Buck Rasmussen, guard Wilbert Brown and tight end Zeron Flemister.
Collier is entering his 15th season as an NFL coach and returns to New England after spending the last 11 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. As the team's assistant secondary coach, he will enter his second tenure with the Patriots, having previously served as the assistant running backs and receivers coach on Dick MacPherson's staff from 1991-92 and then as a pro scout for New England during the 1993 season. Collier spent the last seven seasons as the Dolphins' running backs coach and also served a four-year stint (1994-97) as a defensive staff assistant with Miami. Collier attended the University of Northern Colorado, where he was a three-year starter at inside linebacker. Following graduation, he served for two seasons as a graduate assistant at Syracuse University (1988-89) before entering the NFL as an offensive assistant with the Tampa Bay in 1990.
Nash joins Coach Belichick's staff as the assistant strength and conditioning coach after recently completing an 11-year career as a defensive back in the Canadian Football League. He earned all-star recognition in three seasons and recorded a total of 367 tackles and 24 interceptions while playing for the Shreveport Pirates (1994-95), Montreal Alouettes (1996-99), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1999-2003) and Edmonton Eskimos (2004). He is Winnipeg's all-time leader in pass knockdowns.
The four Patriots released today were Moreland, 27, who played in nine games with two starts at cornerback after being signed from the practice squad on Nov. 6, 2004; Rasmussen, 25, who spent the entire 2004 season on the Patriots' practice squad; Flemister, 28, who was on the reserve/injured list for the entire 2004 season; and Brown, 27, who spent the 2004 season on the reserve/did not report list.