Former Patriot says Bill O’Brien could take a cue from Charlie Weis when it comes to making an easy transition to new job
|01.06.12 at 5:14 pm ET|
The last time a Patriots’ offensive coordinator decided to take a college coaching job before the end of the season, the transition went about as well as could be expected.
Prior to New England’s appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX at the end of the 2004 season, former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis agreed to become the head coach at Notre Dame. Weis stayed on to finish out the season — as well as the playoffs — before officially departing for the Golden Dome.
‘It was a hectic period, but all things considered I thought it went as smoothly as could be expected,’ Weis said in a statement released on Friday regarding the transitional process he faced. ‘I had a plan of prioritizing everything that went into getting the new staff and program up and running, but I also made it clear that compromising the job at the Patriots was never going to be an option. In the end, the results turned out pretty well.’
According to reports, New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien will follow the same path, sticking around Foxboro until the end of the Patriots’ postseason run before shipping out to Happy Valley to become the new head coach of the Nittany Lions.
Former New England tight end Christian Fauria, who was part of that 2004 team, said that O’Brien could take a cue from the way Weis handled his transition. Fauria said that throughout that process, there was ‘nothing changed at all’ when it came to Weis’ approach to preparation.
‘You didn’t even realize he had another job,’ Fauria recalled. ‘Things just went on, business as usual. That meant meeting times, film work, practice. Whatever. Every now and then, I would see him on the phone, but all in all, he did a really good job handling the situation. I didn’t even realize that he had another job.
‘I didn’t even realize how hard it was for him, because he never let on as to how stressed out he was,’ Fauria added. ‘Charlie handled the transition process really well.’
In some instances, NFL assistant coaches who have a team in the postseason have used that experience to find some leverage with recruits. When he left the New York Giants as an assistant coach to take over at Boston College, following the Giants’ Super Bowl win over the Bills, Tom Coughlin called recruits from the victorious locker room. In other cases, coaches have asked players to call and vouch for them to a possible recruit. But none of that went on with Weis.
‘He never asked us to call recruits, he never asked us to speak on his behalf, he never asked us to vouch for him with a possible player. It was all about the Super Bowl and the Philadelphia Eagles,’ Fauria said. ‘I know he talked about it at the Super Bowl with the media, but you never even heard him or saw him in a private moment talking on the phone before the Super Bowl.’