New Patriots Coach Belichick Fires Grier

Bob George
May 1, 2000 at 7:09 pm ET

FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots announced today that Bobby Grier, who had been their director of player personnel, was fired today by new head coach and general manager Bill Belichick. His firing ends an 18-year association with the Patriots.

The Associated Press reported the firing today at about 6:00 PM EDT.

Grier will perhaps be best remembered for his clash on Draft Day in 1996 with Bill Parcells over the drafting of Terry Glenn. Parcells subsequently left the Patriots, and Grier was on his own to run the personnel department.

His 1997 draft, which featured such busts as Chris Canty, Damon Denson, Sedrick Shaw and Vernon Crawford, is becoming perhaps the worst draft in Patriot history. Another selection in that draft, Ed Ellis, was recently sent home from Barcelona, Spain after experiencing problems with the Dragons of the NFLE.

His only decent draft selection in 1998, running back Robert Edwards, is currently trying to resurrect his NFL career after suffering an horrific knee injury two years ago in Hawaii. Other selections such as Tebucky Jones, Tony Simmons and Rod Rutledge have yet to bear fruit for the Patriots.

Grier did a wee bit better in 1999, with selections such as Damien Woody, Andy Katzenmoyer and Kevin Faulk. But the team’s record dropped gradually each year since 1996, and the team recently fired Pete Carroll, the coach who replaced Parcells.

Scott Pioli, who came from the Jets and is the son-in-law of Parcells, is expected to eventually ascend to a personnel position similar to the one Grier held.

National scout Dave Uyrus was also let go by the Patriots today.

Bob George will have a commentary article later tonight.