Maybe it hit John Perry the other day when he swapped bagels with ex-Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel at the breakfast nook.
The longtime coach from Andover has arrived – at football’s highest level – as the tight ends coach on Bill O’Brien’s staff with the Houston Texans.
O’Brien, the former Pats’ assistant and Penn State head man from Andover, officially announced his staff on Wednesday. Perry, who spent last year as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Delaware, is ecstatic to be there.
“As my wife (Jen) will be quick to point out, this will be our family’s ninth different house, but I’m totally excited about the opportunity to be here,” said Perry, who will room with Vrabel until each moves his family down to the Houston area.
“All I can do is my best. That’s what the NFL is all about.”
Perry is well-traveled (see his resume) and by now is used to the routine. He’s already been out and around the different Houston neighborhoods, scouting out the best schools for his three children, who expect to be down by April vacation.
But as for right now, O’Brien has his new staff jumping right into business.
“We’ve just jumped into a complete program evaluation,” said Perry. “After that, it will be on to our draft work.”
Perry already has reached out to another area product, ex-Londonderry High and UConn tight end Ryan Griffin, who caught 19 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown, playing extensive special teams in 15 games as a rookie with the Texans this past season.
“We had never met,” said Perry. “But he remember (Perry’s older brother) E.J. from his basketball days, when he was coaching at Salem. It was interesting all the connections we had.”
Speaking of connections, Perry is well-acquainted with many members of the staff that O’Brien has assembled.
Patriots fans should also recognize some of the figures as well.
Along with Vrabel, who is the linebackers coach, Super Bowl-winning defensive end Anthony Pleasant was named the team’s strength and conditioning coach. Another key Super Bowl-winning figure, Romeo Crennel, is the new Texans defensive coordinator.
You can email Hector Longo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOHN PERRY'S FOOTBALL RESUME Player Andover High, Class of 1988, All-Scholastic wide receiver UNH, Class of 1992 … Captain and All-New England wide receiver Coach 2013 … University of Delaware - Passing game coordinator and QB coach. 2008-2012 … Merrimack College … Head coach with 29-21 mark over five seasons. 2007 … UNH … Associate head coach and quarterbacks coach. 2005 … Georgetown … Associate head coach and quarterbacks coach 1999-2004 …. Dartmouth … Offensive coordinator 1997-98 … UNH … Receivers coach, recruiting coordinator. 1994-96 … Brown … Receivers coach 1993 … Northeastern … Running backs coach