FOXBOROUGH — Bill Belichick has been a big fan of Chad O’Shea and his family long before he recognized O’Shea’s ability as an assistant coach.
Belichick and O’Shea’s father, Mike, were on the same staff with the Colts in Belichick’s first year as an assistant in Baltimore in the 1970s, and the New England coach still holds the elder O’Shea in high esteem.
“The world could use a lot more Mike O’Shea’s,” Belichick said earlier this year when asked about the father of the Patriots’ wide receivers coach.
It’s safe to say Belichick has the same opinion of his son Chad O’Shea, in his 10th season on the New England staff as the Patriots’ wide receivers coach. In his tenure with the Patriots, O’Shea has carved out a niche as a teacher fiercely committed to seeing his guys succeed. The former college quarterback has nurtured the careers of Julian Edelman, Randy Moss and Wes Welker, all while handling a massive amount of turnover in the wide receiver room this past offseason.
“Chad's an excellent teacher (and) a very good fundamental coach,’ Belichick said recently. “He has a good relationship with his players, has a good relationship with all of the staff members and is easy to work with.
“He comes from a football background — of course, his dad, Mike O'Shea, is one of the great trainers in his profession of all time. He has a great history with the game, and with the sport. Chad's done a really good job for us.”
[caption id="attachment_479377" align="alignnone" width="1600"] O'Shea works with Julian Edelman at training camp this past summer. (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)[/caption]
With Josh McDaniels eyeballing possible head coaching gigs for a second consecutive season — and given the Patriots’ propensity to promote from within — O’Shea certainly appears to be a leading candidate for a promotion to OC if McDaniels does leave.
Remember, the 46-year-old is vital when it comes to guiding a position group that has to be on the same page with the quarterback, and also already has his fingerprints on other aspects of offensive game-planning. It’s also worth noting he’s been an offensive signal-caller in the preseason on multiple occasions.
While he has shrugged off talk he might be next in line if McDaniels does leave, when you talk to people who have dealt with him over the years, his background suggests he would be uniquely positioned to make the leap from assistant to coordinator status.