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Voice of the 'Fan

Sometimes, leaving the nest is not a good thing.....

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It was, after all, inevitable that Notre Dame would fire Charlie Weis, as they did yesterday. Weis thought that returning to his alma mater and implementing the offensive system that worked so well for him under Bill Belichick with New England would lead the Fighting Irish back to prominence. It didn't happen. Weis was let go after a 6-6 campaign in which every negative move was over-scrutinized and allowed the speculation to begin as to when, not if, Weis would be fired.

Romeo Crennell knows the feeling. Crennell, like Weis, was an assistant under Belichick with the Patriots, but he & Belichick go all the way back to the 80's and the Bill Parcells-led Giants. Crennell left the Pats to be a head coach himself, in Cleveland, where Belichick got his first taste of being the head man some years earlier. However, Crennell's teams weren't exactly playoff contenders, unlike the Belichick Browns, and Romeo was let go after the '08 season, replaced with another Belichick assistant, ex-Jets coach Eric Mangini, who has gone from "Mangenious" to "Management-challenged" in the last three seasons, putting out a Browns team infinitely worse than his Jets were last year, and that was with a number of Jets who came with him to Cleveland.

The common thread? The success the Patriots enjoyed this decade convinced Weis, Crennell, & Mangini that the formula could be implemented elsewhere with similar results. It's not the formula after all. It's the players employing the formula and having the knowledge to make it work.

The next question: Where does Weis go from here? Chiefs coach Todd Haley shot down rumors that Weis would be hired as an assistant on his staff, even though Chiefs GM Scott Peoli used to be in New England as well. And, oh yeah, the Patriot Curse hit KC this year, too, considering how badly the Chiefs have played. And don't get me started on the recent troubles 1st year Denver coach Josh McDaniels has had, even though he can say he beat his mentor.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the welcome mat will be out in Foxborough for Weis to rejoin the Patriots' staff in 2010. It's the best place for him.


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