Is Parcells Interested In a Patriots Coach?

As Bill Parcells works on building his staff is he looking in the direction of the Patriots? If he is, there is one coach who is rumored to be on the list.

Bill Parcells has been charged with getting the Miami Dolphins back on track and he wasted little time getting started. Thursday morning, first-year coach Cam Cameron was handed his walking papers the same week GM Randy Mueller was fired. New GM Jeff Ireland, who spent time with Parcells in Dallas, was tabbed to right the ship in Miami and felt Cameron's return would not be beneficial.

It's Parcells' job to get things sorted out for the better in south Florida, and he is just getting started. Owner Wayne Huizinga charged the former Cowboys/ Jets/ Patriots/ Giants head coach with the same task he had in New England - to win. In order to do that, Parcells is expected to bring in another Dallas personality in assistant head coach Tony Sparano. Parcells wants to mold a first-year head coach in his own way, someone he can control from his upstairs suite.

The entire assistant coaching staff was also let go along with Cameron. The only two exceptions were assistant special teams coach Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach George Edwards.

Hoffman worked with Parcells in Dallas in 2004, while Edwards was an assistant in Dallas in 2001, new GM Jeff Ireland's first year as a national scout for the Cowboys.

The obvious question is will Parcells raid his former associates' teams to fill out the rest of the coaching staff in Miami. More importantly, will Parcells raid Bill Belichick's Patriots coaching tree to build the new look Dolphins?

If Parcells subscribes to the "you don't raid from your friends" school of thought that many insiders believe is an accurate assessment of his philosophy, then he'll probably steer clear of New England coaches. If you believe Parcells will use a little bit of Eric Mangini's "Get people whom you're familiar with regardless of where they are now" line of thinking, then Belichick will need to do a better job convincing his staff to stay than he did when Mangini accepted the Jets job despite Belichick's protests.

Parcells is expected to bring in an offensive coordinator who shares his philosophy, possibly someone like Giants quarterback coach Chris Palmer who is currently working under Tom Coughlin -- another branch of the Parcells' coaching tree. The pursuit of former Parcells associates will likely continue on to Cardinals running back coach Maurice Carthon. Carthon was one of the names mentioned as a potential head coaching candidate in numerous reports.

The most likely candidate to attract Parcells' attention from the Patriots coaching ranks is offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Considered one of the top coordinators potentially available, McDaniels took his name out of the running Thursday when he released a statement saying he wasn't interested in interviewing for open positions in Atlanta or Baltimore.

Parcells is also high on Dallas secondary coach Todd Bowles and Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson.

Of the Patriots assistants, Johnson may benefit the most from moving south. He has been with Belichick for eight seasons, initially as a defensive assistant and then gradually moved to inside linebackers coach, and eventually on to defensive line coach in 2004. The next logical step in his career would be to defensive coordinator - a position already occupied by Dean Pees in New England.

According to one league source, the chance that Johnson makes the move is minimal. The reasoning comes that Johnson has no coordinator experience, and any coach that the Dolphins hire would need to have a little experience, even though Johnson brings years of tutelage under Belichick to the table.

Whether Johnson is on the list or not, remains to be seen. All indications at this time are that he'll remain in New England as Parcells opts to avoid raiding his protégé's coaching staff.

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Material from wire reports, team and league sources was used in this article.

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