Belichick on firing O-line coach: “Dave’s contract is up”

AP

Throughout each of his 16 seasons as head coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick has opted to be as concise as possible when talking about most things related to his football team. So it’s not surprising that, when appearing Wednesday on WEEI, he opted to be concise about the news that the team had parted ways with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.

Dave’s contract is up,” Belichick said, via the Providence Journal. “We talked after the game. We’re going to go in different directions on that one. I really have a lot of respect for Dave. We obviously had a lot of success offensively last year and this year. Appreciate all his efforts and all he did for us. Wish him well in whatever his future brings, but there will be some type of a transition at that position.”

Dave’s contract being up means only that the Patriots won’t have to pay him to not work for the team. Contract or not, telling a guy who wants to stay that he can’t is, as a practical matter, firing him.

“There’s some contract situations on the staff — the expiration of it and that becomes either a new contract or not a new contract,” Belichick said regarding the possibility of not retaining other staff members. “We’re involved in a couple of those situations so we’ll see how it all turns out.”

In other words, Belichick had multiple lame ducks coaching for him this year, which surely created plenty of stress during the postseason, since the guys who had no security beyond the current season were seeing opportunities on other coaching staffs fill up with each passing day.

The real question is whether Belichick would have shrugged and said, “Dave’s contract is up” if the Patriots had won the Super Bowl again this year. The speed with which the change was made suggests Belichick made his mind up about saying “Dave’s not here” a while ago.

70 responses to “Belichick on firing O-line coach: “Dave’s contract is up”

  1. This versus WHOLESALE firings league wide..you guys are truly desperate to say BB is a big olde meanie!!! The O line looked like at turnstile at the MBTA….to use your own stats..TB was hit more in one game than any other QB in any game this year!!!!! And still almost won the Game,,,,go figure.

  2. .
    After witnessing the string of late season failures by his offensive line, and the absence of any adjustments during the Denver game, would you bring this guy back?
    .

  3. It’s telling when, in the 16 years at Pats’ HC, this is one of the few, if only, times he has fired (or “not renewed”) a coach.

  4. Belichick didnt drink a 12 pack and do this off the cuff people. This is something he planned for like everything else he does. Hes got a back up to a back up nd has thought about this decision for a while……..change happens every year…and he has said so himself…” players win games and coaches lose games “…..he makes a decision and moves on and doesnt dwell on it……

  5. If Brady didn’t get pegged 20 times in one game, willing to bet his contract would have been looked at. His line failed miserably in a huge game so why renew it?

  6. Different Rules is why I despise the Patriots

    Last Year the spin was..Oh Gee, Bellichek has lots of injuries on the offensive line, but he can coach anybody and can plug anybody in.

    Now it is….It is not Bill’s fault, it is his OL coach.

  7. I don’t there should be a surprise. I know injuries did not help, but there was no answer for Denver, Miami and the Jet’s D rush this year. If he feels he needs another person in that position to adjust to those D’s…….. now is the time.

  8. Is there anything more dreary than a Bill Belichick interview?

    I don’t understand the media and public’s obsession with interviews of players and coaches in general. 95% of them are absolute dreck, one non-answer or cliche after another.

    Virtually every time I am forced to listen to one because there is nothing else on, I wind up thinking to myself “whelp, there’s 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back”.

  9. Dang Bill:

    Way to identify the scapegoat!!! Nothing like blaming someone else for your inability to identify quality talent.

    Who drafted Vollmer? Who went into the season with Cameron Fleming as their swing tackle? Who thought Cannon could play tackle?

    YOU DID BILL!

    Blame yourself for your poor personnel decisions, instead of the OL coach. Ware and Miller were blowing past YOUR draft picks.

    You could of seriously had a juggernaut in New England if you hadn’t wasted soooo many draft picks… the Ron Brace’s, Darius Butler’s, Taylor Price’s… goodness your awwwwfullll at picking talent…

    and Spygate is the single most disgusting thing a football coach could’ve ever done…

    You’re a disgrace to the coaching community and you’ve sold your soul to the devil

  10. Dave’s contract being up means only that the Patriots won’t have to pay him to not work for the team. Contract or not, telling a guy who wants to stay that he can’t is, as a practical matter, firing him.

    ======================================
    There is nothing dishonorable about seeing a contract conclude and not renewing. DeGuglielmo has been working on backup plans ever since the season started KNOWING the contract end date. I’ll bet you consider that treachery rather than sound planning.

    Not every action has to classified into blunt win/lose dramatics.

  11. I would guess Belichick had a plan before he let this coach go. Belichick doesn’t strike me as the type to fly off the handle and fire people. Then again, what do I know?

  12. The AFCCG was the worst that I’ve seen the offensive line play since…..well…maybe ever.
    After so many plays, our Linemen would be standing around, not anywhere near the D-Linemen, (who would all be on top of Brady), all of them looking around stupidly wondering what was going on. It was pathetic.

  13. The speed with which the change was made suggests Belichick made his mind up about saying “Dave’s not here” a while ago.

    —-
    No question about it. I would say back in November he knew.

  14. I don’t see what the mystery is here. Even if you missed the entire regular season, you still saw what a year of lax O-line fundamentals lead to in the AFCCG. Goog had an uphill battle coaching in the shadow in Dante Scarnecchia, and dealing with a pile of injuries. He had some definite successes, but week after week they were disorganized and sloppy.

    Sorry drama miners, a change had to happen.

  15. Dude, this is getting ridiculous. The contract was up and they didn’t like what they saw.

    It’s just like the 3 month trial at a company. If they don’t like what they see or believe there’s someone who can do a better job, they’re under no obligation to give you a permanent contract.

    Get over it.

  16. “The speed with which the change was made suggests Belichick made his mind up about saying “Dave’s not here” a while ago.”

    Belichick usually cuts veteran guys earlier than most if they have to go too. If your not bringing a guy back your not doing him any favors letting it linger. It gives them a greater chance of catching on elsewhere.

  17. 2015 was by far the strangest season of the Bill Belichick era. First there was the unprecedented chaos and controversy of deflategate, then the multiple injuries which caused (among other things) the constant reshuffling of an offensive line that was the weak link in team before the season even began. We saw how that worked out.

    Then there was the joint statement with the Gronk family addressing his knee injury (the Pats actually talking about an injury let alone in a joint statement with a player’s family?? Did the earth tip on its axis??).

    Then there were the multiple coaching errors including letting an undrafted free agent field a punt (which he muffed) in the snow in the Denver game, and the pooch kickoff against a Philadelphia team that was down 14-0 and on life support. All of this is not to forget electing to kickoff against the Jets in overtime, the rope a dope in Miami where they were running the ball 3rd and 8 and taking a knee on various occasions with time on the clock and timeouts in their pocket, all to protect Brady from his lack of weapons and the aforementioned incompetent offensive line.

    If that’s not enough, now the Pats have scapegoated a coach, something they never do. All this and they still came within two points of forcing overtime in the final seconds of the AFC championship. Credit to them for almost overcoming all the outside distractions, multiple injuries and their own coaching blunders. But lets leave the circus to the Cleveland Browns of this world in 2016.

  18. swagger52 says:
    Jan 28, 2016 8:52 AM
    Different Rules is why I despise the Patriots

    Last Year the spin was..Oh Gee, Bellichek has lots of injuries on the offensive line, but he can coach anybody and can plug anybody in.

    Now it is….It is not Bill’s fault, it is his OL coach.

    —-
    What does that have to do with your fake notion of “different rules ”

    And you are WRONG as usual. They did not have a lot of injuries last season on the O line. Both tackles played all season. The biggest issue for the first 4 games last season was settling on the 3 interior guys. Once that was decided they played well.

  19. I remember when the Steelers didn’t renew a guy’s contract and called it retiring. Something tells me that DeGuglielmo won’t end up a two time NFL Coach of the Year, though.

  20. Everything is part of his Master Plan. He only lost to Denver to move up one spot in the draft to ensure he can get a triple super secret player that will change the world forever. You’ll know what he means come draft day.

  21. No one, whether your a coach or a referee, is allowed to let poor Tommy Boy get hit that many times. He is used to never getting his, whether its b/c of his 2 step drops and slant passes all game long, or b/c players know if they hit him they will be flagged. One time ever tom takes more than 5 hits and a coach gets fired………forget the fact that it was against the best defense in the league…..

  22. mariorat says:
    Jan 28, 2016 8:26 AM

    He’s following Chris Carter’s advice… #FALLGUY

    ————

    That narrative is so wrong. You don’t need a fall guy when you go 12-4, get a seed and make the AFC Championship Game. Even more so when you are coming off a Super Bowl winning season.

    Belichick is just making the changes he wants to make.

  23. “Contract or not, telling a guy who wants to stay that he can’t is, as a practical matter, firing him.”
    ————————————————————–
    How do you know that DeGuglielmo wanted to stay?

  24. 8oneanddones says:
    Jan 28, 2016 9:30 AM

    Bring back Dante!

    —-
    I’m sure they would if he wanted to come back.

  25. dualprime says:
    Jan 28, 2016 9:15 AM

    I would guess Belichick had a plan before he let this coach go. Belichick doesn’t strike me as the type to fly off the handle and fire people. Then again, what do I know?


    Yup. This is not an overreaction. This was a move that was coming.

  26. swagger52 says:
    Jan 28, 2016 8:52 AM

    Different Rules is why I despise the Patriots

    Last Year the spin was..Oh Gee, Bellichek has lots of injuries on the offensive line, but he can coach anybody and can plug anybody in.

    Now it is….It is not Bill’s fault, it is his OL coach.

    —————–

    What rules are you talking about. Belichick has always changed his coaching staff around like every other coach. Scarnecchia had to help a lot after he retired with scouting and other things. Belichick wants better coaching at that position. Simple as that. He can do what he wants. I am sure he didn’t need to fire anyone given their level of success over the last 24 months.

    I don’t get why you think there needs to be a person to blame for losing a close game on the road against a good team in the AFCCG.

    They just weren’t good enough in the end and they lost, but you don’t need to find a fall guy after winning a Super Bowl and making the AFCCG the next year.

  27. Could see Jeff Davidson going back to New England. He had some good seasons in Minnesota, but loss of starters on the O-line hurt this year. Plus, Zimmer probably wanted his own guy when Sparano became available. So, a bit of musical chairs for the coaches.

  28. I suspect the haters are mad because they might get better on the Oline next year and improve their team. There really isn’t another reason for all the upset fans of teams other than the Patriots about BB firing someone they never knew existed prior to it happening, is there?

    The hate is real. The hate is strong.

  29. swagger52 says:
    Jan 28, 2016 8:52 AM

    Different Rules is why I despise the Patriots

    Last Year the spin was..Oh Gee, Bellichek has lots of injuries on the offensive line, but he can coach anybody and can plug anybody in.

    Now it is….It is not Bill’s fault, it is his OL coach.
    ============================

    Now back to reality. Last year, in September when we “saw the end of Brady and the Patriots dynasty”, the fans all wanted this dude fired. The offensive line was the biggest reason for the KC debacle on MNF. Belichick was the one who stood up for him. Why do people just make up their own reality so that they can bash Belichick?

  30. mrphelps01 says:
    Jan 28, 2016 9:32 AM
    …..
    If that’s not enough, now the Pats have scapegoated a coach, something they never do….

    The Pats did not renew Dean Pees’ contract after the 2009 season when most would say the Pats defense had its struggles. Was Pees’ “scapegoated”?

    Not extending a Coach is obviously not a first for Belichick, or any Head Coach in the NFL. It is just big news with Belichick because he is the Greatest NFL Head Coach of All-Time and, as the Greatest NFL Player of All-Time, Tom Brady, has said: We are the Pats. Everything is a big deal.

  31. If my head coach forced me to set up that illegal ineligible receiver play, we would be moving in different directions. Luckily, DeGuglielmo will be moving in the direction of teams that don’t cheat.

  32. Patriots play under their own set of rules…..which is why I also despise them. I bet Goodell is heartbroken Bill didn’t cheat enough. Has he even left Kraft’s house since the loss?

  33. patriottony says:
    Jan 28, 2016 8:29 AM
    This versus WHOLESALE firings league wide..you guys are truly desperate to say BB is a big olde meanie!!! The O line looked like at turnstile at the MBTA….to use your own stats..TB was hit more in one game than any other QB in any game this year!!!!! And still almost won the Game,,,,go figure.

    *

    I’m a Dolphins fan and I’ll gladly admit that Belichick is the greatest coach of all time.

    I think I’ll trust that Belichick knows what he’s doing when hiring his assistants.

  34. As a Broncos fan, I don’t think that it’s right for people painting this as Bellichick using him as a fall guy. It would be one thing if he had come out and been outspoken about the offensive line play during the game and pointed the finger as that being the single issue for the loss. He didn’t place blame on any one aspect of the team for why they lost.

    There were a lot of issues with their offensive line play all season long. While some of it was injury related, if you see yourself as a championship caliber group but have one area that isn’t giving you championship caliber results, you have to make changes.

    The fact that this coach was allowed to coach all year on the final year of his contract without an extension clearly shows that they weren’t convinced that he was going to be a part of their future and anyone in that position knows that they have to prove that they belong. With his contract now being up, the Patriots had to either decide to commit to move forward for the foreseeable future with him or move on. Had they extended his contract, all of the comments and stories would have been about how foolish that was after the way that their season ended.

  35. Fair to question why they had multiple lame ducks on staff. That isn’t the norm and while maybe the idea is for the guys to work extra hard to keep their jobs it causes uncertainty across the board. As disciplined as the Pats are you can’t tell me none of their players did a mental “I don’t love this guy and I know there’s a good chance he won’t be around next year so I’m not going to fully buy into anything he’s trying to sell.”

  36. Belichick haters will go to great lengths to criticize him. Coaching
    changes happen all the time. To accuse Belichick of casting DuGlielmo as a scapegoat is pure speculation. How does one not know that Belichick doesn’t accept the responsibility himself. Having worked with a long term offensive line coach for years , perhaps, this one just didn’t execute as well or didn’t make in game adjustments as quickly as needed. This stuff goes on in the offseason year after year. The coaches all know this and accept this. It’s part of the business that
    all coaches including Belichick go through. I am not a Patriots fan
    ( Pittsburgh ) but I recognize a guy who works harder than all,
    and has grinded it out for years. It is remarkable that he still has the
    energy. Look at coaches like Cowher …he grinded for a long time but
    he doesn’t want to do it any more. Belichick still does.

  37. mrphelps01 says:Jan 28, 2016 9:32 AM

    2015 was by far the strangest season of the Bill Belichick era. First there was the unprecedented chaos and controversy of deflategate, then the multiple injuries which caused (among other things) the constant reshuffling of an offensive line that was the weak link in team before the season even began. We saw how that worked out.

    Then there was the joint statement with the Gronk family addressing his knee injury (the Pats actually talking about an injury let alone in a joint statement with a player’s family?? Did the earth tip on its axis??).

    Then there were the multiple coaching errors including letting an undrafted free agent field a punt (which he muffed) in the snow in the Denver game, and the pooch kickoff against a Philadelphia team that was down 14-0 and on life support. All of this is not to forget electing to kickoff against the Jets in overtime, the rope a dope in Miami where they were running the ball 3rd and 8 and taking a knee on various occasions with time on the clock and timeouts in their pocket, all to protect Brady from his lack of weapons and the aforementioned incompetent offensive line.

    If that’s not enough, now the Pats have scapegoated a coach, something they never do. All this and they still came within two points of forcing overtime in the final seconds of the AFC championship. Credit to them for almost overcoming all the outside distractions, multiple injuries and their own coaching blunders. But lets leave the circus to the Cleveland Browns of this world in 2016.

    6

    13

    If being strange is winning the Divison again and playing in AFC Title game for 5th straight year then I hope there ” STRANGE” every year…..

  38. He is trying to address the question without bagging on the guy and hurting his opportunities to find a new position. Instead of parsing his answer, just see it as what it is – he is letting him go but not trying to destroy his rep. There is no good answer to the question.

  39. What does chippy know about rules? He doesn’t even understand intentional grounding. Wish I had an 8AM-11PM job posting bile. Bet the taxpayers are paying for it too. swag roots for a coach that never read the rulebook. It’s probably wrapped up in a white suit somewhere.

  40. mogogo1 says:
    Jan 28, 2016 10:27 AM

    Fair to question why they had multiple lame ducks on staff. That isn’t the norm and while maybe the idea is for the guys to work extra hard to keep their jobs it causes uncertainty across the board. As disciplined as the Pats are you can’t tell me none of their players did a mental “I don’t love this guy and I know there’s a good chance he won’t be around next year so I’m not going to fully buy into anything he’s trying to sell.”

    ——————–
    Any player who thinks that way also won’t be around next year.

  41. Wow!! An NFL Assistant Coach gets fired. I wonder if this has ever happened before. For those of you haters, here are some numbers (Facts). Belichick has been NE Coach for 16 years. During that period of time there were 130 Head Coaches changes in the AFL East Division. You do see that this is a results oriented business.

  42. “Is there anything more dreary than a Bill Belichick interview?”

    Plenty of things. The key for Belichcik is what questions are asked. If they go for info on medical issues, game plans, coaching changes, he will give the media nothing.

    Ask him about football history and he will go on at length, is quite funny and even at times charming.

    I’m also laughing at the Pats haters so desperate to critique Belichick. Coaching changes happen to every team at some level almost every year. But when Bill does it somehow its an awful act and he’s so damn mean. SMH

  43. swagger52 says:
    Jan 28, 2016 8:52 AM
    Different Rules is why I despise the Patriots

    Last Year the spin was..Oh Gee, Bellichek has lots of injuries on the offensive line, but he can coach anybody and can plug anybody in.

    Now it is….It is not Bill’s fault, it is his OL coach.
    ________________________________________

    Ummm…they made it to the AFC Title Game, didn’t they? It’s not like they went 5-11.

  44. If Belichick had concerns about Goog and the OL, I’m sure it didn’t start in the last game or even this season.

    Even in last year’s Super Bowl I don’t think they played all that well. Brady took shots from Michael Bennett in that game that I don’t care to see a 38 year old QB take even if he is the GOAT. Gotta keep the man upright and if making the OL better means getting a new OL coach then so be it.

    🙂

  45. Fall guy? The man did not do his job well. Brady will be crippled and his arm will fall off due to hits and lack of running game. One of the Broncos players said that the Pats sometimes doesn’t even need O Line because Brady release so fast. But the Pats do need OLine. Brady can’t always mask that weakness. If Brady is not a unique QB the team would have been eliminated earlier or he would have been seriously injured. If the Pats opted for field goals, the Pats will be in the SB in spite of the Broncos great defense and Pats’ collapsed OLine. 2 points! Mull on that. Brady deserved to be protected just like any QB. He is the team’s greatest asset. It’s just good business. There is no entitlement with the Patriots. You fools criticize BB for what other teams normally do. Other teams fire personnel wholesale. It’s a huge deal because it’s the Patriots. Yeah… We know…
    BB does not throw anybody in his team under the bus. He does not trash anybody in his team or any team. Hate him all you want… He will do what’s best for our team with no apologies. Dynasties are not built by warm fuzzies.

  46. First thing: anyone who thinks Belichick wasted the draft pick he spent on Sebastian Vollmer is a fool. This guy has regularly shut down the likes of Dwight Freeney, Cameron Wake, J.J. Watt, Mario Williams, et al.

    Next: bring back Range Scarnecchia. As in, right now.

    And then: trade Chandler Jones for a quality young OT (+ a draft pick). It’s going to cost a bundle to retain both Collins and Hightower, and Jones is going to demand the sort of exorbitant contract for which Kraft simply doesn’t pay, so get something for CJ now– as in, at a position of major need.

  47. Do you know what coaches usually do when their o-line is struggling? Give them some help!!!

    TEs and RBs are allowed to block in the NFL, but Bill refused to make the adjustment and instead watched his line get beat like a drum and his QB get teabagged.

    Awful coaching by one of the best coaches of all-time.

  48. Isn’t that sort of similar to when, after 1994, new ownership in Miami “let Don Shula retire,” aka fired Shula? That’s when these new owners (I think Huizenga?) hired Jimmy Johnson, to not much effect, and the deluge of dysfunction that followed his leaving.

    Just wonder if BB is starting to lose it…you don’t fire a guy who has worked for you for many years just because they lost over half their starters to injuries and the replacements sucked. And who drafted/signed these replacements?

    DO YOUR JOB, BELICHICK!

  49. somethinghappeninghere says:
    Jan 28, 2016 12:41 PM
    Isn’t that sort of similar to when, after 1994, new ownership in Miami “let Don Shula retire,” aka fired Shula? That’s when these new owners (I think Huizenga?) hired Jimmy Johnson, to not much effect, and the deluge of dysfunction that followed his leaving.

    Just wonder if BB is starting to lose it…you don’t fire a guy who has worked for you for many years just because they lost over half their starters to injuries and the replacements sucked. And who drafted/signed these replacements?
    _________________________________

    Many years??? He was on the staff for 2 seasons. Two. And the line was a weakness in both of those seasons

  50. “and Spygate is the single most disgusting thing a football coach could’ve ever done…”

    Then every competent coach that’s ever been in the game must be disgusting to you because all coaches steal signals.

    Way to know absolutely nothing about what you’re criticizing

  51. DiGuglielmo made out. Let’s see now. Live in run down Boston area or beautiful San Diego? Hmmm that’s a hard one. Lots of fan clowns just don’t get it.

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