Head Coaching Suitors for Assistant Coaches

Preparing for three possible playoff opponents isn't enough, now Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel have to work in a few head coaching interviews this week as well.

As more jobs opened Monday with the firings of Buffalo's Gregg Williams, Arizona's Dave McGinnis and Chicago's Dick Jauron and in Oakland with the dismissal of Bill Callahan, the Patriots offensive and defensive coordinators had to ready themselves for interviews that could determine their own future.

Both men aspire to lead their own NFL team and the Giants and Bills reportedly will speak with both while Chicago, Arizona and Atlanta all would like to meet with Crennel, a minority candidate.

Weis would seem to be a good fit in Buffalo where he would reunite with Drew Bledsoe, whom he worked with from 1993-1996 and again in 2000-2001. The Bills could use an offensive boost and Weis could provide it, given what he's accomplished as a coordinator with the Jets and Patriots. He certainly would set about doing the No. 1 thing needed in Buffalo, protecting Bledsoe.

Crennel has coached defense under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick and been a part of every Super Bowl team those two men have directed. He was on the Giants staff with Belichick and Parcells in 1986 and 1990 and on the Patriots staff with both men in 1996. He then joined Belichick in New England in 2001, the Patriots Super Bowl championship season.

"I have stated many times before that I am ready and willing to help our assistants in whatever way I can," Belichick said. "We will certainly do that and we will comply with everything that we can with the league."

The Patriots must grant interview permission to other clubs this week, but those clubs are required to travel to New England for the meeting unless another arrangement is made and agreed upon.

Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli is also a hot name for teams seeking a general manager. Pioli is heavily involved in the Patriots personnel decisions and runs the scouting department, but Belichick has final say on all matters. Pioli has three years left on his contract and the Patriots are not required to grant any team permission to speak with him.

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