A bit of news has hit Patriots Nation in what should be the quietest time of the year, the lull just before the start of training camp in late July. According to various published reports Friday morning Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, through his agent Craig Kelly, has contacted the University of Washington to inquire about the school's head coaching job.
Weis, the Patriots offensive mastermind over the last three seasons, has never hidden his desire to become a head man. In recent years his name has been mentioned in relation to coaching vacancies in the NFL in both Carolina and Tampa, with the strongest interest coming with the Panthers in the spring of 2002 just following New England's Super Bowl win.
"The only thing I was trying to do is say there is interest on his end," Kelly told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of the call he placed to UW officials. "We put a fish hook in the water to see if we could catch anything. … It's certainly one of the top 10 or-15 college jobs."
According to the Seattle Times Weis confirmed his interest in the job should it become available and has discussed the school with a number of UW alumni that play for the Patriots including backup quarterback Damon Huard.
"Between he and Lawyer Milloy, they make it sound like you are going to heaven if you go out there," Weis told the Times of the potential move.
The question remains though whether there is even going to be a job opening for the 13-year veteran NFL coach to pursue. Rick Neuheisel appears to be out has the Huskies coach as he received a letter of just cause for termination on June 11 after a scandal involving his participation in NCAA basketball tournament betting pools. Currently UW offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson was given "supervisory duties" over the football program by the school. Gilbertson is considered to be the frontrunner for the job once Neuheisel is completely removed from the picture.
In a separate rumor that was denied by UW sports information director Jim Daves, there were reports that the school had contacted the San Francisco 49ers to inquire about defensive coordinator Jim Mora, Jr.
Daves told the Post-Intelligencer the rumors were "absolutely false," while a 49ers spokesman told the paper that said that San Francisco GM Terry Donahue had not talked to the school.
Attempts to reach Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick for comment on the situation Friday morning were unsuccessful. He is away and unreachable as the New England coaching staff is enjoying vacation time before training camp.