It’s always a treat when former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is working a New England Patriots game.
While some fans find it annoying when Romo tries to predict plays, he seems to take his job far more seriously than most color analysts. He passes along tidbits from his pre-game meetings with coaches and players scattered throughout the broadcast.
Here are three fun things we learned from Romo in the Patriots’ 37-16 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 16.
— Romo explained why we didn’t see starting left tackle Nate Solder during pre-game warmups Sunday. Solder was added to the Patriots’ injury report late Saturday night with an illness then wasn’t spotted until the Patriots ran through the tunnel minutes before the game.
“I think Bill Belichick has a theory when you’re sick, I don’t think he wants you to waste energy in warmups, so he doesn’t have his players come out for warmups,” Romo told play-by-play man Jim Nantz. “Just an interesting coaching point there.”
— He also specified why running back Mike Gillislee was a healthy scratch for six straight weeks before being activated Sunday.
“The interesting thing about Gillislee is he’s different than the other (Patriots) backs, because when (Dion) Lewis plays or James White or (Rex) Burkhead, they can run routes or they can run the ball,” Romo said. “Gillislee doesn’t. He’s not involved in the passing game at all, so as a D-coordinator, you know what to call when he’s in the game. And that’s why, in the rotation, he’s down a little bit on.”
— Romo does not subscribe to our theory that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should stick around this offseason.
“I think Josh McDaniels, I think he takes a job this offseason,” Romo said. “I think he’s gonna get a head-coaching position at, I think there’s one or two spots. …
“He knows he’s going to have opportunities every year as long as Brady and Belichick are here. He knows he’s going to have an opportunity to be a coach. He’s going to be successful because he’s a good coach. This year, I think, he actually takes the job.”