Notre Dame hasn’t made any official statements about Charlie Weis’s future in South Bend, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out story after story about his potential replacement at Notre Dame or his future coaching destination. Several sources have already reported that Weis will have several suitors in the NFL for 2010.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier Sunday that Weis has been telling people that NFL teams have already begun contacting him about offensive coordinator positions.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King went a step further Sunday Night by reporting that the Patriots, Chiefs, and Panthers are the leading candidates to land Weis for 2010 during the Sunday Night Football pregame show. King also said that the Indianapolis Colts are a “very, very dark horse.”
It’s not surprising that NFL teams are interested in Weis for offensive coordinators since his offenses (except 2007) have been strong and haven’t been the main source of Notre Dame’s short comings the past two seasons. In his time at Notre Dame, Weis has produced two first round NFL quarterbacks (assuming Jimmy Clausen is selected in the first round as most project) and should have another two first round NFL wide receivers in Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. A third wide receiver, Jeff Samardzija, could have easily been a first round selection as well had he chosen to pursue a football career.
The teams that have been reported shouldn’t be much of a surprise either. Weis built his reputation as an offensive guru in New England as a member of the Patriots coaching staff that won three Super Bowls in four years. The Patriots do not current list any of their coaches as their offensive coordinator after Josh McDaniels left in the off-season for the head coaching position with the Denver Broncos. Also of note, former Notre Dame graduate assistant Shane Waldron is currently the tight ends coach in New England after serving three years under Weis at Notre Dame.
Carolina makes a lot of sense for Weis as well considering his close friendship with John Fox. Carolina could also be in the market for a new offensive coordinator to give their offense an overhaul after struggling mightily on offense this season. One stumbling block could be the personnel in Carolina though. The Panthers are set up to be a power running team with two great backs in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Carolina could also be in the market for a quarterback in the draft with Jake Delhomme aging and turning into a turnover machine this year. It’s not too farfetched to think that Jimmy Clausen could end up in Carolina should he decide to enter the NFL draft – how’s that for a story line? Of course, this could all be a moot point if John Fox doesn’t survive this season with the Panthers sitting at 4-7.
In Kansas City, Weis would work with a quarterback who has been through the Patriots system in matt Cassell who the Chiefs invested a lot of money in this off-season. First year head coach Todd Haley is said to be looking to add an offensive coordinator to his staff to take over play calling duties so he can spend more time focusing on game management.
Indianapolis would really be a surprise to most since Tom Moore has been the Colts offensive coordinator since 1998 and has been the only offensive coordinator to work with Peyton Manning in the NFL. Even if Tom Moore retired and the Colts were interested in Weis, would he really go to the Patriots main rival right now? I highly doubt it considering how close he is with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Interestingly enough, there hasn’t been much speculation about Weis joining his fellow former Patriot coaching colleague Eric Mangini in Cleveland where he would be reunited with Brady Quinn. The Browns offense has been anemic this season outside of their shootout with Detroit last week and they too could be looking for a new offensive coordinator for next season.
Regardless of where Weis lands next year, it seems apparent that he will not be out of work long and could have his choice of offensive coordinator positions. If Weis finds himself in the NFL next season, hopefully he will be able to rekindle the magic he had in New England and rejuvenates his career. Weis is only 53 years old and could get a shot at being an NFL head coach with another successful stint as an offensive coordinator.