Tag:Bill Belichick
Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:58 pm

Brady breaks TD record in first-half blowout

Brady throws five first-half touchdowns, three to his tight end. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Will Brinson

All week long, there were rumblings that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was as focused and as intense as he's ever been. After watching him toss an NFL record five touchdowns in the first half of a 35-7 beatdown of Denver in New England, that sounds about right.

Brady's hasn't been entirely flawless, going "only" 18 of 25 with a pick, but 246 yards and five touchdowns are numbers you'd love to see from a quarterback over the course of a game, much less a half.

Denver's got no answer for the Patriots on defense, and haven't gotten a sniff of pressure on Brady throughout the first half. So with plenty of time to throw, he spent 30 minutes of football time breaking records and getting Rob Gronkowski a playoff-record three touchdowns in the first half as well.

Tim Tebow's not having quite as much success, going 3/10 for 28 yards and rushing five times for 13 yards.

It's not that he's just not showing up in the coldest game of his career though; the Patriots defense is playing at a surprisingly high level. Even if the Broncos aren't the most potent offensive team, it's a friendly reminder what can happen if a defense has a superstar on the other side of the ball and starts clicking at the right time.

Although if Brady plays like he did in the first half for the rest of the playoffs, the defense can probably do whatever it wants. As CBS Sports Dan Marino pointed out at halftime, the only way the Broncos are coming back is if they convince Brady to swap uniforms.

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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 12, 2012 2:24 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:27 pm

Harvard analysis examines Pats speaking patterns

T. Brady isn't an interesting speaker at the podium (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

While Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a well-earned reputation for being a press conference bore, quarterback Tom Brady seems to get a pass when it comes to how (un)interesting his answers from reporters can be.

Well, a new study from the student-run Harvard Sports Analyst Collective reports that Belichick and Brady actually aren’t much different when they’re addressing the media.

As in, both of them kind of stink.

The HSAC analyzed the speaking patterns of Belichick and Brady from the transcripts of postgame pressers, and the collective found that Belichick’s answers average 72 words while Brady is slightly less than that with 60 words. After a loss, though, Brady’s average response is 59 while Belichick’s answers drop to an amazingly low 25 words (to give you an indication of how long that kind of answer would look on a piece of paper, this parenthetical aside is 25 words). Considering Belichik’s post-win answers average 82 words, you could make the case that Belichick is an awfully sore loser.

The HSAC also analyzed the most-used words by the two (click this link to see the top-10), and as the authors pen, “Unsurprisingly, the results for Belichick include a list of profoundly uninteresting words, matching his style at the podium. And Brady, though his list includes a few more syllables, isn’t conveying much more meaning; 'We gave them another chance’ tells me just as much (or little) as' We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.'"

So, what do we draw from all this analysis? Ah, not much really. But by working with a quarterback and a coach who don’t seem to enjoy dealing with the media, you have to give props to those Boston-area reporters who have effectively learned to adjust their coverage around the lack of verbiage that emerges from the tongues of these two.

And while you might think dealing with Brady would be better than having to question Belichick (as I would have guessed), the HSAC has this to say: “Personally, we appreciate Belichick’s approach. The Hoodie has no intention of giving comprehensive answers to anyone’s questions, but at least he doesn’t pretend to by dragging out the same timeworn clichés heard all over the sporting world. His concern is winning football games, and the less other people know about how he does it, the better.”

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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 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: December 30, 2011 5:20 pm

Report: Tom Brady has sprained shoulder

BradyBy Josh Katzowitz

Tom Brady’s shoulder has been the most mysterious body part in the NFL for the past three days, and it seems clear that somehow something is wrong with it. After all, he missed Wednesday’s practice for “non-injury” shoulder X-rays and appeared to be favoring it as he threw to receivers Thursday.

He was listed as probable on Friday’s injury report, but NFL.com’s Albert Breer has bad news. Breer’s sources tell him that Brady has a sprained left shoulder, and though it is not an “instability problem” and it shouldn’t keep him from playing, Brady’s presence on Sunday will be guided by how well he can handle the pain.

"If they're not out there, there is either another player ahead of him or we're not confident they can go out there [healthy]," Bill Belichick, the question-dodger, said today when asked about Brady's status. "It's as simple as that."

The Patriots, when they face the Bills, still have something to play for Sunday. A win or tie would wrap up a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, meaning they’d have home-field advantage all the way until the Super Bowl. Whether backup Brian Hoyer could beat Buffalo in order to seal that scenario, that’s the question Belichick probably will have to weigh between now and kickoff.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 3:18 pm

Belichick dodges questions about Brady's status

By Will Brinson

The Patriots are in an interesting position on Sunday against Buffalo, as they still need to win (or have Baltimore and Pittsburgh lose, which is unlikely) to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, but they're dealing with an injury to quarterback Tom Brady that makes him a risky start against the Bills.

Which may explain why, according to our Patriots Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard, Bill Belichick was dodging questions about Brady's status for Sunday's game.

"If they're not out there, there is either another player ahead of him or we're not confident they can go out there [healthy]," Belichick said when asked about Brady's status. "It's as simple as that."

That is simple, especially considering the fact that we know Brian Hoyer, Brady's backup, is not as good as Tom Brady.

So if Brady doesn't play, then Brady's shoulder issue -- which we mentioned earlier in the week and which we brought up again when he appeared to be favoring it -- is much more problematic than we thought.

Of course, Brady was present in the portion of practice that the media got to see and Belichick's emphasized, once again, that New England is playing to win.

"Every game is important and there are important things in this game," he said per Bedard. "We’ll prepare for this game just like we have the last 15. That’s the best way I can put it."

So what Belichick is saying (by way of not saying it) is that Brady might not be healthy. And if he's not there, then Patriots fans can start getting worried.

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Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 9:48 am

Did Tom Brady miss practice for shoulder X-rays?

By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, Tom Brady did not participate in practice with the rest of the Patriots team. That wouldn't be entirely shocking, perhaps, but for the fact that New England listed him as out for "non-injury related issues" despite reports that Brady missed practice to have X-rays on his shoulder.

The report of the shoulder X-ray comes from Tom Curran of CSN New England, who reports that Brady "dinged" his shoulder late against the Dolphins, had it "checked for separation" and was told that "all is set."

Brady likely injured the shoulder when he took a shot from linebacker Cameron Wake on a one-yard touchdown throw in the second half.

But again, on the injury report, Brady's listed as a "non-injury issue," so it's a bit confusing.

There's also the fact that talking to the press on Wednesday afternoon, neither Brady nor Bill Belichick were asked about Brady's shoulder injury. (And, of course, neither one offered anything to the press, though Belichick using the phrase "if ifs and buts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas" was pretty funny.)

That will likely change on Thursday, provided both/either are available to the press.

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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