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Tag:Josh McDaniels
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:13 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 10:48 am
 

Rams have begun contract talks with Lloyd

By Josh Katzowitz

It makes perfect sense that Rams receiver Brandon Lloyd would try to latch onto New England when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Lloyd, the seventh-ranked free agent in our receiver rankings, wouldn’t mind a reunion with his former coach in Denver, Josh McDaniels, now the Patriots offensive coordinator. But that doesn’t mean St. Louis isn’t trying to re-sign him. And that doesn't mean he'd necessarily mind returning to the Rams.

He’s still their best receiver -- he was traded from Denver (to avoid a locker room issue?) in the middle of the season, and in the final 11 games of the season, he caught 51 passes for 683 yards and five touchdowns, all of which led the team -- and as a result, the organization has begun contract talks with him.

That’s what Rams COO Kevin Demoff told Turf Show Times, saying, “We had initial discussions in Indianapolis. We plan to continue talking."

Lloyd, though, is still leaving open the option of playing for McDaniels in New England, telling CBSSports.com during Super Bowl week, “I’d like to consider myself Josh McDaniels' prized pupil. I would like to continue it.” He also said in that same interview that he was excited about the prospects of playing for new coach Jeff Fisher and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and playing again with quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Rams could use the franchise tag to keep Lloyd, but they’ve also recently said they won’t do it.



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Posted on: January 15, 2012 11:07 am
Edited on: January 15, 2012 11:48 am
 

Nolan drafts deserve more credit than McDaniels'

McDaniels is now getting credit for taking Tebow and Thomas but Niners drafted better under Nolan. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

During the last month or so of the regular season, before John Elway and John Fox had committed to Tim Tebow for 2012 but long after Tebow believers were convinced that he was the second (football) coming, another young rising star was the unexpected beneficiary of Tebow's NFL success.

Josh McDaniels, the Broncos head coach for 2009 and part of 2010, was run out of town after winning six straight to begin his career only to lose 12 of his next 17. He left Denver amid another videotaping scandal (McDaniels was on the Patriots staff during the whole Spygate saga) and with a shoddy record as a personnel evaluator.

Divisional Round Recap
McDaniels had been responsible for trading Jay Cutler to the Bears in April 2009, and a year later, he traded three picks to move up and draft Tebow in the first round. Both moves were heavily criticized.

But as the Broncos and Tebow surged this season, so too did McDaniels' reputation. While his coaching abilities have never been questioned, maybe he knew how to put together a roster, too.  In addition to Tebow, the Broncos also drafted Demaryius Thomas (1st round, 2010), Zane Beadles (2nd round ,'10) and Eric Decker (3rd round, '10) on McDaniels' watch.

But after what the 49ers did to the Saints Saturday, CBSSports.com assistant managing editor Eric Kay tweeted this: "If McDaniels is getting credit for drafting Tebow, best we all tip our hats to Mike Nolan and his 2005 draft savvy."

It's a solid point, particularly since Nolan's tenure in San Francisco is better remembered for Reebok suits than anything the 49ers accomplished on the field. (The 49ers were 18-37 under Nolan from 2005-08, his best year coming in '06 when the San Francisco went 7-9.)

We live in a world where the latest is often confused for the best; maybe time has helped repair McDaniels' reputation in Denver but we could be focusing on the wrong former head coach. Yes, Tebow and Thomas are good young players, but some of the names San Francisco drafted under Nolan now serve as the foundation for not only the NFC West champs but legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

(Note: below we've included players taken in the top four rounds as well as notable late-round selections)

Josh McDaniels, Broncos head coach 2009-2010 (GM: Brian Xanders, 2009-present)

2009
RB Knowshown Moreno (Round 1, pick 12)
DE Robert Ayers (1.18)
DB Alphonso Smith (2.37)
DB Darcel McBath (2.48)
TE Richard Quinn (2.64)
DB David Bruton (4.114)
G Seth Olsen (4.132)

2010
RB Demaryius Thomas (Round 1, pick 22)
QB Tim Tebow (1.25)
G Zane Beadles (2.45)
C J.D. Walton (3.80)
WR Eric Decker (3.87)
DB Perrish Cox (5.137)

Thomas, Tebow and Ayers have played well, but critics thought Moreno was drafted too high and those sentiments haven't changed after two seasons. He struggled with effectiveness and injuries before the Broncos eventually gave most of the carries to 30-year-old Willis McGahee. The Broncos traded a 2010 first-round pick to select Alphonso Smith who was such an unmitigated bust that he was shipped to the Lions for the other Gronkowski, Rob's brother Dan.

Mike Nolan, 49ers head coach 2005-2008 (GM: Scot McCloughan, 2005-2010)

2005
QB Alex Smith (1.1)
G David Baas (2.33)
RB Frank Gore (3.65)
T Adam Snyder (3.94)

2006
TE Vernon Davis (1.6)
LB Manny Lawson (1.22)
WR Brandon Williams (3.84)
RB Michael Robinson (4.100)
LB Parys Haralson (5.140)
TE/FB Delanie Walker (6.175)

2007
LB Patrick Willis (1.11)
T Joe Staley (1.28)
WR Jason Hill (3.76)
DE Ray McDonald (3.97)
DE Jay Moore (4.104)
S Dashon Goldson (4.126)
CB Tarell Brown (5.147)

2008
DT Kentwan Balmer (1.29)
DB Reggie Smith (3.75)
C Cody Wallace (4.107)
WR Josh Morgan (6.174)

Nolan, McCloughan, and the personnel department hit on a ton of talent -- from first-rounders to late-round picks. Of the players drafted from 2005-08, 14 are still on the roster and 10 started against the Saints Saturday. Amazingly, Nolan never managed to do anything on the field with a roster he helped build (and neither could Mike Singletary) but Jim Harbaugh certainly has. And now the 49ers are one game away from returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1994 season.

As luck would have it, McDaniels, back where it all started in New England, is on his way to a conference championship game, too. The Broncos, meanwhile, are headed home with plenty of questions.


Harbaugh on wild win: Alex Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with nine seconds left after Drew Brees had put the high-powered Saints ahead, and the 49ers capitalized on five New Orleans turnovers for a thrilling 36-32 playoff victory Saturday.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:08 pm
 

Report: Rams interested in Brian Schottenheimer

Brian Schottenheimer isn't in line for head-coaching jobs, but he's in demand as an offensive coordinator. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Rex Ryan announced at the Jets end-of-season press conference on January 2 that he'd welcome Brian Schottenheimer back as offensive coordinator should he not land a head-coaching gig. Well, Schottenheimer hasn't been mentioned as a candidate for any of the various vacancies around the league but he's not coming back to New York.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to return to the New York Jets in 2012," Schottenheimer said in a statement issued by the team on Tuesday. "I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the six years I have been here. I am grateful for the relationships that I have with our players and coaches and appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into our success."

The Jets have since hired Tony Sparano, the former Dolphins head coach, who wants to get back to "square one" with embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez and promises to "be more explosive" in the process.

Schottenheimer, meanwhile, has been mentioned as a possibility with the Falcons. On Saturday, he interviewed with Nick Saban about the University of Alabama offensive coordinator's gig, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas reports that he's also on the Rams' radar to fill the position vacated when Josh McDaniels returned to the mothership in New England.

"Multiple league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Saturday that Jeff Fisher is interested in hiring Schottenheimer as his offensive coordinator with the Rams," Thomas wrote Saturday.

"…Fisher has been given the green light by the Rams to 'officially' talk to potential members of his coaching staff. Fisher has been informally working on his staff over the past week or so as he contemplated whether to coach for St. Louis or Miami."

The appeal for Schottenheimer in St. Louis is that the Rams have a legitimate franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. The downside: Bradford struggled with injuries and consistency in 2011 (we could say that about just about everybody on the team) and the team won two games. 

On the other side of the ball, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is expected to give serious consideration to joining Fisher in St. Louis in the same role. The two worked together in Tennessess, and Williams' contract expires after the 2011 season.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that "Williams has grown close to Sean Payton" but will "be torn when Fisher comes calling."

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Report: NFL to look at coaches swapping teams

The NFL could keep teams from grabbing coaches midseason. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Josh McDaniels, who will reportedly be working from the coaches' box on Saturday, switched teams "midseason" this year when the Patriots hired him to replace departing offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

This didn't sit well with a number of teams and Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the NFL will look at restricting movement of coaches from one team to another during the same league year.

The Broncos, in particular, didn't appreciate the swap, considering that McDaniels, who has intimate knowledge of their roster and personnel, spent all week helping the Pats prepare to play Denver again. (Probably not helping things: Tom Brady's assertion that McD has "inside information.")

Mortensen reports that "a few clubs lodged complaints" about McDaniels transfer and such complaints could be impetus for a rule preventing coaches from swapping teams midseason.

Implementing such a rule would be a logical move, even if the Patriots have several sound excuses -- O'Brien's already moving towards Penn State, and McDaniels will eventually be the full-time OC -- for bringing in McDaniels right away.

It's clear that having McDaniels on staff gives the Patriots some advantage and it's an unfair leg up on an opponent. It's also a gateway for some team down the road to temporarily hire a fired coach simply for a playoff or late-season matchup.

And that's why the NFL would be wise to nip it in the bud before it becomes a more serious issue.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:36 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Report: McDaniels to sit in Pats coaching booth

Josh McDaniels is back where it all started: New England. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

After nearly three years, Josh McDaniels has returned to the Patriots. The former New England offensive coordinator's meteoric rise coincided with the team's record-setting performance during the 2007 season, and in 2009 he was named the Broncos head coach. That lasted less than two seasons and McDaniels served as the offensive coordinator of a punchless Rams team in 2011. But now he's returned to Foxboro where it all started.

Will McDaniels make a difference? (Getty Images)
And on Saturday night, when the Patriots host the Broncos, McDaniels, who has been with the team for a week, will watch the game from the Pats' coaching booth, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

That doesn't seem like a particularly controversial proposition … and yet it is.

When New England hired McDaniels last weekend, the immediate reaction from critics went something like this: "Wait, doesn't this give the Pats an unfair advantage? McDaniels has already faced the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens and he drafted Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas?!"

Of course, the Rams were winless against the AFC North teams mentioned above (and were blown out by Baltimore and Pittsburgh), and the reason McDaniels isn't in Denver is because he wasn't very good at his job. Not only that, but the Patriots stomped the Broncos in Week 15, 41-23, without McDaniels.

One more thing: NFL rules don't prohibit teams from hiring assistants at any point during the season. And if the Rams wanted to keep McDaniels in St. Louis, or at the very, least weren't interested in New England grabbing him in time for the playoffs, they could've denied the Pats the opportunity to talk to him. They didn't.

And now McDaniels is free to share all the "inside information" he's collected with New England as they try to stop Air Tebow.

This is a joke. Belichick doesn't need advice from the guy responsible for wrecking the Broncos from the inside. Not only that, the Pats' current offensive coordinator, Bill O'Brien, is still with the team, and he will be on the sidelines calling plays just as he has been on 16 previous occasions this season.


After an impressive overtime win over the Steelers last week, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will face off against the New England Patriots on Saturday. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan have the preview. Watch the game on CBS at 8 PM ET. 

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Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:56 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 1:32 am
 

Grudge Report: Divisional matchups are chippy

Eli and Aaron meet again this weekend. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Every year, the NFL schedule makers help create myriad storylines during the regular season. But even the most carefully-planned crafter of matchups couldn't have worked up what we're seeing in the 2011 playoffs.

Not only are all four playoff matchups rematches of contests from earlier in the season (the Saints and 49ers went head-to-head in the preseason), but there's a smaller -- albeit more intriguing storyline -- that goes along with each. Let's examine.

The Matchup: Patriots (-13.5) vs. Broncos
The Grudge
: Josh McDaniels vs. Tim Tebow
Actually, there's no "grudge" between McDaniels and Tebow, per se. In fact, McDaniels is probably happier to see Tebow's success than anyone in the Broncos organization.

Their stupefying march to New England is borderline miraculous and made even more surprising by the fact that McDaniels tenure in Denver -- which lasted a scant 28 games -- was supposed to bottom out the franchise for years to come.

Tebow was the answer for Denver because things were too be too bad to bother with convention. Instead, he provided the spark that gave the Broncos their first division title and first playoff berth since 2005.

McDaniels, who also drafted Demaryius Thomas in the first round of the 2009 draft, can't (and won't) be totally redeemed yet, because Denver's still picking up some pieces from his time spent in the Mile High.

And forget forgiveness, even if the Broncos win, especially since he retreated back to the dark side in an official capacity just moments after the Broncos toppled Pittsburgh in Denver on Sunday.

Broncos fans, members of the Denver media, Broncos players and even Patriots players believe that McDaniels has some magic elixer up his sleeve to stop the Broncos. He might know the personnel on the roster, but they're operating under John Fox.

That still won't change the motivation for both sides, though.

Leach could be the key against his old team. (Getty Images)

The Matchup: Ravens (-7.5) vs. Texans
The Grudge: Vonta Leach vs. Texans
Leach isn't the only ex-Texan looking to get back at his old team -- Pete Prisco correctly nailed the motivation that will fuel safety Bernard Pollard when he faces his old team, especially with the strides they've made on defense. Leach's deal with Houston goes deeper than just changing teams, and he'd tell you that himself:

"Bottom line #texans did not offer me a fair deal or my worth and I found a home in bmore and I'm happy #Ravens!" Leach tweeted on January 7th.

In case you missed it, Arian Foster (who joked with Leach on Twitter about grabbing a meal while he was in town on "business") led the league in rushing with Leach as his fullback last year. Leach was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro last year, and with the Texans deciding that they could handle their business on the ground sans his presence can't sit well with the ECU grad.

While many believe this game will come down to whether T.J. Yates or Joe Flacco can make more plays, I wholeheartedly disagree. The winner of this game will have more rushing yards and longer touchdown runs, and Leach will be the guy motivated to make sure that Ray Rice ends up with a bigger game than his old teammate Foster.

The Matchup: 49ers vs. Saints (-3.5)
The Grudge: Jim Harbaugh vs. Sean Payton
When the Lions and Saints squared off last week, the idea was that an upset by Detroit might create Handshake Gate 2.0.

But the reality is there might have been a bigger rivalry stewing between Payton and Harbaugh all season long, thanks to Payton releasing his entire pound of hounds at Alex Smith before the season began in a game that ultimately didn't count.

Both coaches downplayed the preseason kerfuffle this week, but what else would you expect?

Harbaugh's talk leading up to Wild-Card Weekend as if the Saints were his only focus, and it's a) hard to blame him (they're the better team/likely opponent) and b) have you seen this guy with revenge on his brain? It's terrifying.

Payton ain't exactly the last guy who'd stick it to someone, but we could see some epic-level celebration if San Francisco wins. Like, Harbaugh could end up doing the Truffle Shuffle at midfield.

At the very least, we could see some Schwartz-level fist-pumps.

The Matchup: Packers (-7.5) vs. Giants
The Grudge: 2007 vs. 2011
Everyone automatically assumes the easy reference for this game is the Giants 2007 season, when they beat the Packers in Lambeau (after losing to an undefeated team 38-35 during the season) en route to winning a Super Bowl.

But these teams (the exact same ones!) already played this year, when the Packers won in New York.

In that game, Eli was working his way to elite status by leading the Giants back. Only Aaron Rodgers got the ball last and when that happens the Packers typically win. In this case, they did, and it's something that's sitting on the minds of both teams.

The Giants want revenge for an earlier loss in the season, obviously. But the Packers are motivated for a different reason: no one is talking about them. We mentioned earlier this year that the Packers are the most dominant team in NFL history to fly under the radar. It remains that way for a number of different storylines.

The Giants might not have forgotten the previous game from 2011, and maybe they haven't forgotten 2007. But don't think for a second that the Packers have either. Both those games are still fresh on their mind. And, we're willing to bet, serving as more than enough motivation to take care of business against New York in Lambeau.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:33 pm
 

Brady says McDaniels has 'inside information'

Will McDaniels be the difference in Saturday's Denver-New England game? (Of course not.) (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Oh boy. Tom Brady has gone and done it. During his weekly appearance on Boston's WEEI, the Patriots quarterback said that new (old) offensive assistant Josh McDaniels, who was hired over the weekend and began work immediately, "obviously has some inside information" on New England's opponent Saturday, the Denver Broncos.

On the surface, they're hardly inflammatory comments … except that some segments of the media have already questioned the hire for the very reasons Brady mentioned. The Denver Post's Mike Klis writes Tuesday that "Once again, Belichick has found a loophole in the rulebook by hiring McDaniels as an offensive assistant coach the week before the Patriots play McDaniels' former team. And the NFL has plugged its ears and covered its eyes to a move that would seem to at least violate the spirit of fair competition."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello explained the move thusly: "Teams in the playoffs can sign players."

Klis' response: "Yes, but playoff teams can't sign players from other teams. And a case can be made that in regard to the 2011 season, McDaniels' job should be finished."

And that leads us back to Brady's remarks:

“He obviously has some inside information on that team and those players, as he coached them. I haven’t seen Josh yet, so I really don’t know,” Brady said. “I think coach [Bill] Belichick has a pretty good idea of what he’s going to want Josh to do. I talked to Josh briefly but I really haven’t had a chance to sit down with him. He’s a great coach and we’re lucky to have him. I’m excited to get back to work with him. How that plays into this week, we’ll see. We’ll try to figure that out here in the next five or six days.”

But here's the thing: McDaniels got fired midway through the 2010 season for being pretty bad at his job. In '09, the Broncos started 6-0 before finishing 8-8. The next season, they went 4-12. And while Tebow was drafted on McDaniels' watch, the Broncos were still a season away from running the read option under John Fox.

Not only that, but the Patriots have already played -- and soundly beaten -- the Broncos this season without McDaniels' assistance. So whatever knowledge, inside or otherwise, McDaniels might possess, we can't imagine it will much affect the Pats' game plan.

The Post's Woody Paige feels differently.

"Belichick brought in Kid McCoach as an 'offensive assistant' just in time to interrogate him before the Patriots' rematch with the Broncos and 32 of McDaniels' players and nine assistant coaches from last season's team. The Broncos fired McDaniels on Dec. 6, 2010, because of failure as a coach (17 losses in McD's last 22 games), his poor player-people-press skills and, ultimately, the videotaping scandal that undid the franchise. …

"[McDaniels] can provide inside information and tendencies of players and coaches, especially the offensive coordinator he worked closely with, Mike McCoy. Some aspects of his old playbook passing offense were retained."

Yes, because the Patriots looked lost against the Pats in the Week 15 matchup they won 41-23. Tom Brady threw for 320 yards, tossed two touchdowns and ran for another. Tebow, meanwhile, was 11 of 22 for 194 yards with two rushing touchdowns and a lost fumble. We're quite certain that whatever insights McDaniels might have, occurred to Belichick and his coaching staff when they were preparing for the Broncos the first time.

Put differently: if McDaniels is so smart, he'd still be a head coach. Or at the very least, something more than the offensive coordinator for the league's worst unit.

Either way, Brady isn't so much concerned with what McDaniels may or may not know as he is with Denver's defense.

"Look, I’m thinking about Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil and Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey," he said. "They’ve got plenty of good players on defense for me to worry about. Just like last time, coach talks about doing your job. And there’s no better coaching point this week than for everyone to do their job, not only on the field but off the field, taking care of what you need to take care of so we can be at our best for the most important game of our season."

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Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:33 am
 

Chiefs name Romeo Crennel next head coach

Romeo Crennel is Kansas City's next Chief. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The expected and the rumored is now official: Romeo Crennel is the next head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, the team announced on Monday morning.

"We are very excited to name Romeo the new head coach of the Chiefs,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement released by the team. "In 30 years as a coach in the National Football League, Romeo has established an outstanding track record of success, and we believe his experience and proven ability make him the best person to help us reach our goal of consistently competing for championships."

Crennel seemed like a lock to become the Chiefs head coach after a 2-1 stretch to close out 2011 and a strong defensive effort against some high-caliber offenses like the Packers, Patriots and Steelers in the final eight weeks of the season.

"I have a deep appreciation for the vision that Clark Hunt has and his commitment to building a championship-caliber team," Crennel said. “I believe in the types of players that we are trying to win with and the identity we are trying to create. It is a rare opportunity to be a part of an organization like the Kansas City Chiefs with its storied history and passionate fans and I am eager to get to work and bring this franchise and our fans the success they deserve."

Crennel coached for four years with the Browns, posting a 24-40 record in that time. The Chiefs were reportedly set to interview former Jags coach Jack Del Rio, but the list of potential candidates dried up quickly, with Jeff Fisher honing in on Miami and St. Louis, and Josh McDaniels heading back to New England.

That doesn't make Crennel the leftovers by any means; he was always the favorite to get the gig after the way the Chiefs closed out the season. It just simplified the process for Hunt and general manager Scott Pioli.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com