Canadian Football League

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The two-time defending Super Bowl champions hired Joel Collier to be the assistant secondary coach and named Harold Nash the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach. The Patriots also released defensive back Earthwind Moreland, defensive lineman Buck Rasmussen, guard Wilbert Brown and tight end Zeron Flemister.

Collier, a 15-year coaching veteran, is in his second stint with the Patriots. He was an assistant running backs and receivers coach from 1991-92 on Dick MacPherson’s staff, then served as a pro scout for the Pats in 1993. He spent the next 11 years in Miami as a running backs coach and a defensive assistant for the Dolphins.Collier attended the University of Colorado and was a three-year starter at inside linebacker. Following graduation, he served two seasons as a graduate assistant at Syracuse University from 1988-89 before making his NFL debut with Tampa Bay as an offensive assistant in 1990.Nash is joining Bill Belichick’s staff after an 11-year career as a defensive back in the Canadian Football League. He was an All-Star for three years and recorded 367 tackles and 24 interceptions while playing for the Shreveport Pirates (1994-95), Montreal Alouettes (1996-99), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1999-2003) and Edmonton Eskimos (2004). He is Winnipeg’s all-time leader in pass knockdowns. None of the four players released played major roles in 2004. Moreland saw considerable playing time when cornerbacks Ty Law and Tyrone Poole got hurt, but his inconsistency forced the Patriots to sign veterans Hank Poteat and Antwan Harris before the start of the playoffs. Rasmussen, 25, spent the entire season on the practice squad, while the 28-year-old Flemister was on the reserve/ injured list after suffering an Achilles’ injury in training camp. Brown, 27, never showed up at camp and spent 2004 on the reserve/did not report list.The Patriots locked up the rights to Vinatieri on Tuesday by designating the free-agent kicker as a franchise player. They also did this in 2002 to buy more time in their contract negotiations. They eventually re-signed Vinatieri to a three-year extension. The Patriots are working on another long-term deal for the kicker. They have until March 16 to hammer one out, or Vinatieri will play the 2005 season under a one-year guaranteed contract once he signs the tender from the Patriots.


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