Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Reese hired as senior football adviser
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots hired former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese as their senior football adviser on Tuesday after losing vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli to Kansas City as general manager.
Nick Caserio, the director of player personnel, will manage the personnel department's daily operations, while Reese will handle contracts and other duties.
"It's as thrilling as it can get," Reese said. "The opportunities most of the time are in areas or with teams that are broken, unable to win, don't have quarterbacks, don't have backing, maybe have issues with stadiums or facilities, fan support, whatever it may be. This opportunity is so at the opposite end of the spectrum from all of that.
"None of those things are broken. They're all in very good shape. It's going to be my role to come in and help however I can," he said.
Reese has spent 32 years in player personnel and coaching in the NFL and served from 1994 to 2006 as general manager of the Houston Oilers and then the Titans when the Oilers moved to Tennessee. He spent the last two years as an ESPN analyst.
Now he returns to football with a team that won three Super Bowls this decade but missed the playoffs this season.
"When you would get away [and talk] with a former player or someone involved with the NFL, you'd say that the people [at ESPN] were very nice and that they treat you great, but then you would always finish with the line, 'But it's not the NFL,'" Reese said. "I've spent my entire adult life in the NFL. I started coaching in the NFL when I was 24. I have done everything and this is my life."
Reese said coach Bill Belichick called him within the past 10 days and a contract was agreed upon Monday. Reese gave no details of the deal but said he plans to be with the Patriots for more than one season.
He can help Caserio, who joined the Patriots in 2001 as a personnel assistant after he was a starting quarterback at John Carroll in the late 1990s. Caserio became director of player personnel before last season.
Reese said he doesn't have a relationship with Caserio.
"We're kind of starting off on the ground floor," he said. "I think we'll get together and decide how everything's going to work. Like I said, I've done this for a long time. I've been there and done just about everything there is to do. My goal is to come in and just help where needed."
He expects to be involved in discussions about whether to keep quarterback Matt Cassel, who had an outstanding season after Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.
Belichick was confident Reese and Caserio would make a good team to handle the duties Pioli had before moving to the Chiefs this month.
Reese "has handled as much as one person can possibly handle in this league and to a certain extent, so has Nick," Belichick said in a statement. "In Nick and Floyd, we have two outstanding men who each bring a wealth of knowledge and flexibility to this organization."
Reese and Belichick were assistant coaches with the Detroit Lions in 1976 and 1977.
"We became friends," Reese said. "Everybody else [on the coaching staff] was much older and we rode to work every day and back home."
Reese's first pro coaching job was as strength and conditioning coach for Detroit in 1975. He later became an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Oilers. From 1990 through 1993 he was the Oilers' assistant general manager.
"We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to add someone with Floyd Reese's NFL experience and expertise to our staff," said Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement.
Reese expects to arrive in Foxborough this week.
"I have literally done just about everything there is to do in the NFL," including running 13 drafts, he said. "This organization doesn't need a lot of fixing. They are in pretty good shape, so I think my objective is to come in and do whatever I can do to help Mr. Kraft and Bill win another world championship."