Paul Attner on the Patriots

Paul Attner, football writer for The Sporting News was on with Jay Harlow and Nick Cafardo on WWZN this afternoon. Here’s a transcript of an interesting segment of their conversation:

Jay Harlow: What's the perception around the league Paul of the Patriots losing both coordinators?

Paul Attner: You know, I think that the feeling is that they can easily overcome losing Romeo, not that he's not really good coach, but obviously that is Bill's specialty. But I really really continue to be amazed by the respect that Charlie has among front office people around the league. People I really respect and who have been in the business for a long long time think a lot of his ability. I think there really are questions among a lot of them whether anyone could've made up for his absence, but that fact that Belichick thinks that he can do it...is going to be interesting to watch. You know again, these guys really think that Charlie was an extraordinarily talented offensive mind and you just don't replace that. I happen to think, for what it's worth, that right now Belichick can do just about anything he wants and it's hard to bet against him. We talk about that a lot Nick...

Nick Cafardo: Sure

Attner: The guy, whatever he touches, just works, he obviously thinks he can do it. He's worked with the quarterbacks, all this other stuff, so we'll see. I mean Charlie, he really is viewed internally as a really really good coach in the league and you don't just lose guys like that and just automatically make up for it in their absence. I don't know.

Cafardo: Yeah, I've gotten the same kind of feedback on that, Paul, from other GM's and vice-personnel people around the league, and it's true, especially the in-game aspect of it, you know, he's just a terrific in-game coach and he just knows what to call at the right time, you know, and maybe Belichick can do that and maybe he can't I don't know, maybe someone else on that staff, you know, can do that at some point, but there was just something great about Charlie's timing, especially with some of the trick plays he ran, you know, they always seem to come at the right time.

Attner: What's interesting now is, first of all is Belichick going to wear headphones all the time? I'm used to seeing him kind of isolated there like the lonely soldier, you know and will they actually have like a game plan for him...?

Cafardo: Yeah, that's going to be interesting to see...

Attner: Yeah, he never had any of that stuff, he would just sit there with his hands in his pockets, and kind of, you know, the lonely guy...

Cafardo: Yeah...

Attner: I guess he did have the headphones before, but I guess it just never seemed...he was always isolating himself from everybody, so I guess he could view and think, but he can't do that now...if he's going to run this offense, he's got to be directly involved in every aspect of that game.

Cafardo: See I get the feeling Paul that in his mind, or he may have already done this, I think he's already kind of assigned someone on that staff to be the guy, you know maybe calling the plays, and maybe he's not going to tell us who that is.

Attner: Yeah.

Cafardo: You know, maybe he's going to take the heat, for that guy, whoever it is that's actually doing it. And I just get the feeling that's what he's doing. He wants to take the heat because you know, he couldn't find an offensive coordinator after Charlie left...you know, to suit that offense or whatever.

Attner: You know it'll be interesting, might be a great thing, one of the great mysteries, I guess of the season and for guys like us to find out, right?

Cafardo: Yeah, that's right.

Attner: Who really, really is doing this? You know that's interesting, I hadn't really thought about it, if that does become the case, I think that's really doing an injustice to the guy that's calling the plays, I mean, that guy ought to get credit for it, you know?

Cafardo: Yeah

Attner: The other aspect we haven't discussed is that Charlie did have, it seemed to me, from the outside and Nick you would know this better than I, but it seemed that he did have a pretty good relationship with Brady, they always seemed to get along very well and had a way of working with each other and you know, I don't see Belichick having nearly the same kind of personality as Charlie,

Cafardo: No.

Attner: It'll be interesting to see that dynamic, you know, I've talked to a lot of quarterbacks over the years, and a lot of them have really relished special relationships with either head coaches or coordinators or whatever and I think it's helped the development and Tom, at least in my presence he's talked a lot about how much Charlie's helped him, so it'll be interesting to see it that effects what Brady can do.

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