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Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:20 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:24 pm
 

Report: Pats set to interview Josh McDaniels

McDaniels could be headed home with Brady and Belichick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Despite a miserable 2011 season as Rams offensive coordinator (St. Louis ranked 31st in yards per game and last in points per game), Josh McDaniels remains in pretty hot demand as a coach.

The former Broncos coach was actually the only Rams coach retained in a front-office purge, but St. Louis let it be known they'll release McDaniels from his contract. At this point he's a leading candidate for various openings in Kansas City, and now, he's set to interview with his old team, the Patriots.

Latest Coaching Rumors, News

That last piece of news is courtesy of NFL Network's Albert Breer, who reports that the Pats have received permission to speak with McDaniels and will talk to him over the weekend about the offensive coordinator position vacated by Bill O'Brien's departure to Penn State.

McDaniels, of course, was O'Brien's predecessor, so there's a good chance that he'll ace the interview. Under McDaniels, the Pats offense was beyond prolific, scoring 589 points and ranking first in passing yards, total yards, points, touchdowns and net yards per attempt en route to a 16-0 regular season. (You may have heard of this team.)

Tom Curran of CSN New England noted that the "relationship [is] strong" between Bill Belichick and McDaniels, so it's unlikely that any burnt bridges would negate McDaniels desire to return.

Then there's this: wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, scheduled to be a free agent, already said he wants to go wherever McDaniels goes. Since he already knows McDaniels offense, it's likely he'd be a perfect fit in New England's offense (think a filthy rich man's Deion Branch?) as well, and combined with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, could make the Pats offense absolutely deadly.

But McDaniels is also being courted by the Chiefs; if he's offered the head-coaching job in Kansas City, it might be too difficult for him to turn down in favor of returning to New England.

Given the choice between running the Chiefs offense and running the Patriots offense, however, it's hard to imagine him going anywhere other than New England.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:15 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 5:44 pm
 

Super Bowl Odds: Pre-Playoffs Gambling Guide

Who's got the best odds to win the Super Bowl? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

You might think gamblers are degenerates. And you might be right. But the guys who create the lines (read: "Vegas") are usually pretty good with their NFL-related accuracy. Let's take a look at what Vegas thinks about the various Super Bowl contenders.

In the meantime, check out a special edition of the Pick-Six Podcast with Paul Bessire of PredictionMachine.com, where we break down the best bets for Wild-Card Weekend as well as the Super Bowl favorites:

Team: Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl Odds
: +160
How it Ranks with Other Odds: 5
What Has to Happen: The Packers only have to win three games, two at Lambeau Field and one in Indy. They'll have to beat, if the seeds hold up, some combo of the Falcons/Giants and Saints/49ers. What makes things problematic for the Packers is that every single team in the NFC playoffs, with the exception of the 49ers, has to the firepower to keep pace with them offensively. The defense needs to get hot and commit turnovers. And Greg Jennings and the offensive line need to get healthy quickly. On the bright side, three of the other five playoff teams are dome teams; Lambeau is not the friendliest place for them.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Super Bowl (re) Matchup of Packers vs. Steelers at +700. Because the NFL will make this happen just to take care of all the fans who got screwed out of their seats in last year's game.

Team: New England Patriots
Super Bowl Odds: +350
1-12 Scale Value of Bet: 6
What Has to Happen: The Pats defense has to get much better than it was in the regular season. An upset would be a huge help for the Patriots, since they'd get either the Bengals or the Broncos, instead of having to play both the Steelers and (most likely) the Ravens in order to get to the Super Bowl. A team that can score and play defense is kind of nightmare for New England.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Super Bowl (re) Matchup of Patriots vs. Giants at +1900. Then you can email your favorite Boston sports fan clips of "The Catch" for two consecutive weeks.

Team: New Orleans Saints
Super Bowl Odds: +500
1-2 Scale Value of Bet: 7
What Has to Happen: The Saints have to win three games, and two of them could be on the road and outdoors. So it's a little nuts that they have better odds than the Ravens and 49ers, both of whom are No. 2 seeds in their respective conferences. That's partially playing to the public, though, as well as
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Longest touchdown will be OVER 55.5 yards. The odds on this are basically even (-115) and you could argue that under's a much better bet. But this means for 60 minutes, every time Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford start to uncork a pass you're going to be screaming your face off. And that's always fun. Oh, also: MEGATRON.

Team: Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl Odds: +600
1-12 Scale Value of Bet: 9
What Has to Happen: Just two games and a couple things stand out. 1) If Houston can hang on, Baltimore will probably only play the Texans and the Steelers or Patriots to get to Indy. 2) They only have to play two games! 3) They're 8-0 at home in 2011. 4) They've either beaten everyone who's in the playoffs (twice in the case of the Steelers and Bengals) or they match up well with those teams.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: The OVER of the Super Bowl at 53 ... without knowing who's there. Even if the Ravens only give up 16.6 points per game on defense, we'll gamble they end up in shootout with the Saints/Packers/Lions. If the 49ers and Broncos play, this blows up in your face.

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl Odds: +1000
Value of Bet: 8
What Has to Happen: Three games on the road with a gimpy Ben Roethlisberger? Yeah, that seems impossible but consider this: Pittsburgh has to beat Denver in Denver (which should happen), then travel to New England and Baltimore in some order. They've got the personnel to beat the Patriots and are the Ravens really taking down the Steelers three times in one year?
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: A non-touchdown score to happen first in Steelers-Broncos, which pays off at +115. The under of this game (which I love as well) is already down to 33.5. You're telling me people won't be cranking field goals in Mile High Stadium? Lock it up!

Team: San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl Odds: +1200
Value of Bet: 10
What Has to Happen: OK, look, this is the "best value bet" on the board, but that doesn't mean I love it. The Niners probably have to beat the Saints, Packers and then someone from the AFC to win the Super Bowl. But a No. 2 seed with a shot at two home games (if the Packers are upset), a stifling defense, a strong run game and only needing two games to get to Indy with 12:1 odds to win the Super Bowl? That's kind of silly.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: OVER on number of Gatorade baths given to members of the Harbaugh family at 2.5*. Jim might dunk himself twice if the Lions upset the Saints and he gets to spend a week smack-talking Jim Schwartz.

Team: New York Giants
Super Bowl Odds: +2000
Value of Bet: 11
What Has to Happen: The Giants have to win three games, and the road could very well go through Green Bay and New Orleans. But they've played everyone seeded above them and kept it close against the 49ers and Packers so we know they can play with the best teams. (I think they're losing to the Falcons but that doesn't make it a bad value play.) But remember 2007? Yeah, never forget.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Longest touchdown score OVER at 45.5. Any time you have Victor Cruz and Julio Jones in the same game, the over is a reasonable bet here.

Team: Houston Texans
Super Bowl Odds: +3500
Value of Bet: 3
What Has to Happen: Matt Schaub has to hire Kobe Bryant's doctor. The Texans rushing game and defense is great, and it's possible they could get a second home game (beat the Bengals, beat the Ravens, play Denver/Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game), but the odds just aren't great for Houston to make it to Indy.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: UNDER for T.J. Yates pass attempts (29.5) and completions (16.5). Both pay good money (-115 and even, respectively) and there are two ways to win: a Texans blowout and tons of rushing attempts, or a Bengals blowout and Yates getting yanked for Jake Delhomme.

Team: Atlanta Falcons
Super Bowl Odds: +4000
Value of Bet: 4
What Has to Happen: A casual stroll into New York, New Orleans AND Green Bay, provided the seeds hold up. Consider this: they only played five games this year that weren't in a dome, thanks to convenient scheduling. Those were: a loss at Chicago, a loss at Tampa Bay, a loss at Houston, a two-point win at Seattle and an eight-point win at Carolina. Yikes.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Tony Gonzalez to score the first touchdown at +1500. Um, really? Because last I checked Matt Ryan kind of likes him in the red zone.

Team: Detroit Lions
Super Bowl Odds: +5000
Value of Bet: 12
What Has to Happen: As the No. 6 seed, the Lions are guaranteed to be on the road for three games if they make it to the Super Bowl. And they have to play the Saints first. But they've kept things tight with the 49ers, the Saints, the Packers and the Falcons. Matthew Stafford's as hot as anyone and they have the defensive line to pressure opposing elite quarterbacks. They can score in a dome or on the road (see: at Denver, at Green Bay, at Dallas). And they're a fun story.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Calvin Johnson OVER receptions at 6.5 and UNDER receiving yards at 98.5. This is a hedging combo, because if he goes over 6.5 he could go over 98.5 as well. But Johnson caught six balls for 69 yards the last time against the Saints, primarily because he was dealing with double teams. Stafford will still look his way but maybe

Team: Denver Broncos
Super Bowl Odds: +6000
Value of Bet: 1
What Has to Happen: Remember that ridiculous stretch of games where the Broncos won an (un?) holy six straight games to climb into first place in the AFC West thanks to great defense, some ridiculous luck and clutch play by Tim Tebow in the fourth quarter? That needs to happen again.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Tim Tebow over on passing attempts at 24.5. Yeah, that's a bunch, but if the Broncos are down he'll have to be winging it. Plus, you get the bonus of getting comedic value on your bet even if you lose.

Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Super Bowl Odds: +7000
Value of Bet: 2
What Has to Happen: Andy Dalton needs to stop pooping himself first of all; with Dalton feeling awful, it's kind of tough to back the Bengals even making it past the Texans (though I am). And then the Bengals need to win three road games despite posting victories against teams with a winning percentage of like 37.5 percent (or thereabouts). The Bengals are a great story but they're not going to the Super Bowl.
Fun Prop to Play for Wild-Card Weekend: Will A.J. Green score a touchdown at +130 and the over on Greens' receiving yards at 65.5. I don't care that Johnathan Joseph is covering him. He gets his.

*Made-up prop

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:31 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:31 pm
 

Who replaces Bill O'Brien in New England?

One thing Belichick's offensive coordinators have had in common: a QB by the name of Brady. (US PRESSWIRE/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien has agreed to become Penn State's next head coach, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman confirmed Thursday night.

This comes after a week of rumors had O'Brien taking the job, not taking the job, then interviewing for the job in that order on consecutive days. But now that his employment status is set, what does this mean for the Patriots?

It's not the first time the organization has lost an offensive coordinator (or even one to a high-profile college job). Notre Dame hired Charlie Weis in December 2004 and he coached the Fighting Irish through five mostly disappointing seasons before he was fired.

Weis was Bill Belichick's first offensive coordinator in New England, arriving in 2000, the same year the Patriots used the 199th on (wait for it…) Tom Brady. The Pats won three Super Bowls from '00-'04; when Weis headed for South Bend, he was replaced by then-29-year-old quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels. (McDaniels didn't officially have the title of offensive coordinator until 2006, but according to a 2008 New York Times, story he called the plays during the 2005 season.)

McDaniels was there in 2007, too, when the Patriots went 18-0 and set countless offensive records on their way to the Super Bowl. They lost to the Giants in one of the biggest upsets in championship history, and following the 2008 season, McDaniels was hired by the Broncos to replace Mike Shanahan. He lasted a season and a half before poor personnel decisions and a string of losses led to his dismissal 12 games into the 2010 campaign.

Both Weis and McDaniels reemerged as NFL coordinators; the former with the Chiefs in 2010 (Weis later returned to college, first as Florida's OC this fall before accepting the Kansas head-coaching gig in December), the latter with the Rams in 2011.

O'Brien's NFL journey began in February 2007, when the Patriots hired him after two seasons as Duke's offensive coordinator. After a year, he was promoted from offensive assistant to wide receivers coach. And like McDaniels before him, O'Brien called plays "unofficially" before eventually being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011.

So how have New England offense's fared the year after losing their coordinator? Unsurprisingly, as long as Tom Brady's upright, it's pretty much all systems go.

In 2004, the Pats' offense ranked third, according to Football Outsiders metrics. In 2005, after Weis left for Notre Dame, the Pats ranked seventh. In 2008, they were eighth; in '09, with McDaniels in Denver, they were first.

Next question: with O'Brien off to State College, who replaces him in New England? CNNSE.com's Tom Curran has a list of names -- some familiar, others less so.

* Chad O'Shea, Pats wide receivers coach
* Josh McDaniels, Rams offensive coordinator
* Jeff Davidson, Vikings offensive line coach

But again, the most critical element to New England's success isn't the guy calling the plays, it's the guy under center. The Patriots go as far as Brady goes. But we already knew that.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:18 pm
 

Report: Bill O'Brien to interview at PSU Thursday

O'Brien

By Josh Katzowitz

First, there was a USA Today report that said Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien would be the next head coach at Penn State and that “only contract details need to be finalized before O'Brien is the man.” Then, two days ago, word emerged that O’Brien wasn’t headed to Happy Valley after all, as his agent said, “Any imminent contract signing or agreement (with Penn State) is just off-base.”

Now, there’s another report from USA Today that O’Brien will interview Thursday to possibly become Joe Paterno’s successor.

[Related: Latest coaching news, rumors]

Titans coach Mike Munchak already has said he’s not interested in becoming a candidate for that job, but 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman has interviewed with the school.

O’Brien’s agent, Joe Linta, said O’Brien would want to see what’s available in the NFL coaching circle before thinking about a non-pro job, but with Jeff Fisher taking up so much of the oxygen and with the Patriots potentially headed for a deep playoff run after their first-round bye, now is probably a good time for O’Brien to see what Penn State potentially has to offer him.

According to NFL.com's Jason La Canfora, "the potential to strike a deal is very real."

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:33 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 1:47 pm
 

Pats OC Bill O'Brien not headed to Penn State

Bill O'Brien apparently is not a Penn State candidate (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

During the past few days, reports have emerged that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was a prime candidate to become the next head coach at Penn State.

USA Today even wrote that only the final details of the contract needed to be completed before Penn State could announce O’Brien as their guy. Apparently, though, O’Brien will not be heading to Happy Valley.

CBS’ Charley Casserly is reporting that O’Brien won’t be the next Penn State coach. Casserly also writes that 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman was interviewed and that Penn State will take another crack at Boise State’s Chris Peterson.

According to the Boston Herald, O’Brien wouldn’t take another job without seeing what the NFL has to offer. For now, it sounds like O’Brien will sit back and wait to see what occurs.

“Any imminent contract signing or agreement (with Penn State) is just off-base,” O’Brien’s agent, Joe Linta told the Herald. “The most important thing for him is to win the Super Bowl. But if someone is going to be interested in him in the NFL, it’s going to happen this week. He could be going somewhere else, he could be returning to the Patriots. But we’ll wait and find out if someone is interested in him and seeks permission to talk with him.”

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Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:52 pm
 

Video: Bills vs. Patriots recap


Tom Brady led the Patriots back from a three-touchdown deficit as they scored 49 straight points and clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 49-21 win over the Buffalo Bills. Don Criqui and Randy Cross have the recap. 

Posted by Ryan Wilson


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 1:39 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 1:54 pm
 

Stevie Johnson scores TD, gets penalty...again

Jeebus. Johnson was penalized for wishing others well. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Stop us if you've heard this before: Stevie Johnson, the Bills' explosive wide receiver and one of the best young players in the AFC, struggles to avoid silly penalties at critical points in important games. Earlier this season, he did the "Plaxico" touchdown dance against the Jets, which involved going to the ground after pretending to shoot himself in the leg. And he was promptly flagged for excessive celebration.

Against the Patriots Sunday, Johnson caught a first-quarter touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to give the Bills a 14-0 lead (Buffalo has scored again, and now lead 21-0 late in the first quarter). But that wasn't enough. Johnson pulled up his jersey to reveal a "Happy New Year!!!!" message on his shirt. Somehow, that's an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. 

Look, we get that commissioner Roger Goodell and the folks at league HQ want a sterile, staid NFL. But isn't this a tad much? (That's rhetorical. Of course it is.)

Anyway, it's not the first time Johnson has written personal messages on undershirts. He had a note for the Bengals and the self-proclaimed Dynamic Duo a year ago.)

Silver lining: if this whole NFL thing doesn't work out, Johnson has a future wearing sandwich boards.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:18 am
Edited on: January 1, 2012 11:53 am
 

Report: O'Brien set to become Penn State coach

Brady and O'BrienBy Josh Katzowitz

Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be Penn State's next football coach, according to a USA Today report.

As NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora originally reported, O’Brien had emerged as a candidate to become Joe Paterno’s successor at Penn State after Titans coach Mike Munchak said he had no interest in that job. Now, USA Today's Jon Saraceno is reporting that “only contract details need to be finalized before O'Brien is the man.”

The last time we heard from O’Brien, he and Tom Brady were in a screaming match on the sideline during the Redskins game after Brady threw a bad interception in the end zone.

That shone an unfortunate spotlight on O’Brien, who’s been in charge of New England’s offense for the past year (and with the team as its quarterback coach for the past three seasons) and has helped the Patriots become the second-ranked offense in the league by yards and third-ranked by points. O’Brien -- whose contract expires at the end of this season -- has never been a head coach at the pro or college level, though he was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. LaCanfora writes he also could have interest in the Chiefs head coaching job.

Titans first-year coach and Penn State alumnus Mike Munchak has been courted heavily by the school. Though Munchak has been more than definitive, more reports have emerged that say Munchak still is thinking about it.

Also, Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements supposedly participated in a phone interview with Penn State, but that news quickly was denied by all parties.

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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