In a brief meeting with the media this afternoon, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick named former Jets offensive coordinator Charlie Weis as his offensive coordinator and Eric Mangini as a defensive assistant. He also said that current Patriots coaches Ivan Fears (wide receivers) and Jeff Davidson (assistant offensive line) will retain their positions and a third member of the current staff, Dante Scarnecchia, could be back in the fold as well.
Those were the only coaches named, but Belichick did say he hopes to have his entire staff in place by the end of the week. He addressed a small gathering of media members to update them on his progress with his staff and with the team in general. He is trying to reach Lawyer Milloy, who is in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, to discuss his future with the team. The standout safety will become an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 11.
Patriots fans can expect an offense similar to the one run under Ray Perkins when the Patriots went to the Super Bowl in 1996 and the one run under Weis and Bill Parcells with the Jets.
Davidson will have an important role on the staff, executing a program designed to develop young offensive linemen. Belichick discussed that system the he used in Cleveland to help develop undrafted linemen like Quentin Neujahr (now with Jacksonville), Orlando Brown (now with Cleveland) and Andy McCollum (now with St. Louis), who have gone to become productive NFL players.
That, according to Belichick, will include multiple formations and a balanced run-pass mix.
After saying that free agency and his coaching staff are his top priorities, Belichick also stressed the importance of the offseason-conditioning program and made it clear that he expects players to participate. He said he talked with Ty Law this morning about his decision the past two seasons to work out with respected conditioning coach Bob Kersee. He said he and Law will have further discussions on the matter, but added, "there is more than one way to skin a cat."