Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick officially named five assistants to his coaching staff, including three members who will remain from last season's staff. Dante Scarnecchia, Ivan Fears and Jeff Davidson all will return and become part of Belichick's regime.
Scarnecchia will enter his 17th season coaching in New England and will do so under his sixth different head coach. Scarnecchia will assume the role of assistant head coach/offensive line coach under Belichick.
Fears will return for his second season as wide receivers coach, a position he previously held in both New England (1991-92) and Chicago (1993-98). Davidson will begin his third season as assistant offensive line coach but will see his duties increased under Belichick. The new coach explained that Davidson would be in charge of a program designed to develop young offensive lineman in an effort to bolster an area of weakness last season. Belichick said the he has had success with the program in the past, developing several unheralded linemen into solid starters.
The newcomers are Charlie Weis and Eric Mangini, both of whom spent the last three seasons with Belichick in New York. Weis was named offensive coordinator, the same position he held with the Jets. He held a variety of positions with the Patriots during the Bill Parcells regime from 1993-96. He worked with tight ends, running backs and wide receivers in New England and directed a potent Jets offense in 1998 that featured a breakout season for veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde.
Mangini is the lone coach with ties to Belichick from their days in Cleveland. Mangini will be a defensive assistant but his role is yet undetermined. Belichick will decide on his exact duties when a defensive coordinator is named.
In unrelated news, wide receiver Terry Glenn will go to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for the injured Tim Brown of the Oakland Raiders. Glenn was picked as an alternate for the AFC team after he caught 68 passes for a career-high 1,147 yards and four touchdowns. This will be Glenn's first trip to the Pro Bowl.