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New England Patriots Links 2/10/11 - Coaching Staff Changes & Questions

Mike Reiss looks at some key questions for the team concerning the coaching staff.  Here are three:

1. Young assistants ready to move up? Coaching assistants Brian Ferentz, Patrick Graham and Brian Flores all took on significant responsibility in different areas. Ferentz, for example, was essentially the tight ends coach without the title. All are in line to move up the ranks, opening spots at the entry level for new coaches to be groomed.

2. Will coordinators be named? Belichick took the unconventional step of going coordinator-less in 2010, which generated a media buzz about him doing too much but ended up being more of a non-story. One line of thinking is that Belichick went that route because it was a message to his coaching staff about what was important -- working together and not focusing on job titles. Quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien led the offense, while Belichick was more involved with the defense. If Belichick feels the message got across, do the titles return in 2011?

3. Hire from outside the organization? Belichick has proven to be selective when bringing in coaches from outside the organization, but he has made at least one hire in each of the last three seasons -- Dom Capers (2008), Chad O'Shea (2009) and Corwin Brown (2010). As for who might be the choice this year, here is one thought based solely on speculation: Bryan Cox. The former Patriots linebacker is a firecracker, and most recently was with the Cleveland Browns as defensive line coach.



  • Shalise Manza Young reports that at least one and likely two assistant coaches are headed out the door.
  • Ian Rapoport reports assistant coach Corwin Brown is gone, and strength & conditioning coach Mike Woicik is expected to return to Dallas.
  • Karen Guregian says Logan Mankins could be tagged as early as today.
  • Jeff Howe reports that the franchise tag is in play starting today, but it may not stick past the currant CBA that expires March 4th.
  • Tom E. Curran thinks we should expect the Patriots to franchise Logan Mankins, and looks at what that means when there's no CBA in place.
  • Mike Reiss notes The Sporting News announced its 2010 NFL Executive of the Year Award, and the results had a strong Patriots connection.
  • Mike Rodak focuses on who would be a free-agent fit at each position: Cornerback.
  • Christopher Price picks potential free agents for the Patriots: RB Pierre Thomas (Saints)
  • Jeff Howe looks at Pierre Thomas as a nice fit alongside BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead in the Patriots backfield.