One of the more telling images of the Patriots’ late-season collapse came when the camera spanned to the sideline following another special teams blunder against the Dolphins, and focused on the new special teams coach, Cam Achord.
With a look straight out of Foxborough High, it’s apparent Achord, who joined the Patriots after five seasons at Southwest Mississippi Community College, is overmatched. But he’s not alone. The Patriots’ staff is littered with Belichick family friends and products from obscure schools, and we’re not just talking about Steve and Brian Belichick, both of whom coach the defense.
On Merloni and Fauria Thursday, the guys went through the Patriots’ coaching roster, and tried to figure out who is who.
They weren’t very successful.
“They’re all friends of Bill when they were younger,” said Fauria. “They’re in and out, they’re part of the family, they’re hanging out, doing cookouts. I can just see, ‘Oh mother, I’ll tell you what. It’s time send Little Billy down to go get right with Uncle Bill. Get through the year, Bill will make him a man.’ Then he’s a position coach!”
It’s easy to see the nepotism and favoritism. Running backs coach Vinnie Sunseri, who’s 28 and played at Alabama, is the son of longtime college coach Sal Sunseri. Tight ends coach Nick Caley is a product of John Carroll University, just like Josh McDaniels, and receivers coach Mick Lombardi is Mike Lombardi’s son — one of the more notable FOBs (Friends of Belichick).
All told, most of the offensive position coaches — Sunseri, Caley, offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, Lombardi and QB coach Bo Hardegree — have just 11 total seasons with the Patriots. And five of those seasons are from Caley.
“You have sucked in the draft, and number two, you have lost good coaches, and replaced them with FOBs,” said Merloni.
Listen to the segment below to hear the full breakdown (starts at 6:00):