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Former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis reportedly interested in returning to the NFL

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Could the veteran coach return?

Super Bowl XXXIX Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The New England Patriots appear to be pretty much set atop their offensive coaching staff: coordinator Josh McDaniels is in his tenth overall season of leading the unit and one of the best offensive play callers in the NFL. As such, however, he is a hot commodity on the head coaching market and there is no guarantee — at least not publicly known — that he will stay with the club if an attractive offer comes around despite being by far the league’s highest-paid assistant coach.

Naturally, the Patriots need a contingency plan in case McDaniels decides to leave the club. The likeliest in-house replacement as things stand right now is wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea, who already called plays during preseason games — an indication that he is next in line in the succession plan at offensive coordinator. Meanwhile, an outside hire would be a bit surprising and go against the team’s record of replacing coordinators. One man, however, might be able to change this: Charlie Weis.

While Weis is away from coaching since he was let go by thd University of Kansas midway through the 2014 season, he has recently expressed a desire to return to the NFL (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter). Given his history with club, ihead coach and quarterback as well as McDaniels’ uncertain outlook despite a five-year contract, New England might be high up on the list of potential landing spots for the 62-year old.

Weis worked as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator from 2000 to 2004 and helped the team win three Super Bowls while also playing an integral role in turning quarterback Tom Brady from sixth-round backup to multiple-time Super Bowl MVP. During his tenure, he also helped implement the Patriots’ Erhard-Perkins system that is still the basis of the Patriots’ offense today and helped transform the unit into a top-10 group in the NFL.

That all being said, until there is any definitive development as it relates to McDaniels and his head coaching aspirations outside of New England, Weis joining the team as a coordinator will remain pure speculation. However, what we do know is that Bill Belichick is known for bringing trusted people in as advisors or assistants — think of Michael Lombardi or most recently Bret Bielema. Seing Weis come in as an “assistant to the coaching staff” or a similar role is not entirely unrealistic if only for Belichick’s history.