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Ex-Patriots’ assistant Josh McDaniels joins St. Louis as offensive coordinator

01.18.11 at 7:38 pm ET
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The Rams have hired former Patriots’ assistant Josh McDaniels as their new offensive coordinator, the team announced via Twitter on Tuesday. McDaniels, who was an assistant in New England starting in 2001, was offensive coordinator in New England from 2006 through 2008 before taking over as head coach in Denver for nearly two seasons. He fired by the Broncos last month with a 3-9 record following a videotaping scandal.

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Ron Jaworski on The Big Show: Brady ‘began to see ghosts’ on the field

01.18.11 at 3:53 pm ET
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ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, after reviewing the coaches’ film of the Patriots’ 28-21 loss to the Jets, credited New York for their defensive execution. At the same time, he expressed surprise at the number of opportunities missed by the New England offense, particularly quarterback Tom Brady.

“Obviously, a disappointing effort from the Patriots. I was surprised they played as poorly as they did,” Jaworski said. “I’€™m going to be honest with you guys. I looked at tape. There were some plays on the field that Tom Brady did not see. I think Tom began to play a little bit fast, and the term I use, he began to see ghosts. There were some opportunities, particularly early in the game, a key third-and-3, he had Danny Woodhead out of the backfield in the flat, he doesn’€™t throw the football. It’€™s a play that Tom has probably seen 50 times this year and completed 50 times. For some reason, he didn’€™t throw the football. I don’€™t know if he got spooked by the interception or what, but he did leave some plays on the field.

“I think he had a poor game,” Jaworski added. “He’€™s always been really good at that movement in the pocket, those subtle little moves to the left or right or up in the pocket that allows some time for the receivers to uncover. I just felt that at times he had those opportunities and he kind of flinched. There was a perception of pressure, and at times it wasn’€™t there. It was awkward to me to see Tom reacting that way. When bodies weren’€™t around him, he was perceiving pressure.”

Jaworski said that the Jets did not blitz on a high percentage of plays, but that they did so enough to change the timing and rhythm of Brady, the offensive line and receivers. He praised the play of cornerback Darrelle Revis, suggesting that he turned the contest into a “10-on-10″ game. He also suggested that the Jets — who had as many as seven defensive backs on the field — employed a strategy used to great effect by Bill Belichick and the Patriots against the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, chipping receivers to throw off the rhythm of the passing game.

The analyst (and former NFL quarterback) also noted that the Patriots offensive line did not have its best game against the Jets’ defensive front. Though he said that the call for a punt fake was an excellent one — and that “the play would have worked” but for Patrick Chung fumbling the snap — he expressed surprise that the Patriots did not try to take advantage of tight end Aaron Hernandez to create matchup problems for the Jets and that the Patriots did not exhibit greater urgency on their almost eight-minute drive in the fourth quarter.

“There just didn’€™t seem to be a sense of urgency,” said Jaworski. “It was a great drive if it was in the first quarter. … I was very surprised by the lack of urgency to get the plays running.

To listen to the interview, visit The Big Show’s audio on demand page. For complete Patriots coverage, visit

Read More: Bill Belichick, New York Jets, playoffs, Rex Ryan

Phil Simms on D&H: Wes Welker benching ‘didn’t surprise me’

01.18.11 at 2:04 pm ET
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CBS NFL analyst Phil Simms was a guest of the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday. Simms, who called the Patriots’ 28-21 loss to the Jets with Jim Nantz on Sunday, was asked about Rex Ryan‘s defensive game plan, which clearly frustrated Tom Brady and the rest of the New England offense.

“He [Ryan] wasn’t worried about the outside throws against his defense,” said Simms, who also noted that it helps to have great players such as Darrelle Revis. “Because he knows he has those two corners, which were really very good matchups against the Patriots wide receivers. And he was rewarded. So he can basically take nine guys and play them from one end of the formation inside to the other’€¦ No matter how good you are, you can’t beat those kind of numbers, and Tom Brady couldn’t either.”

Simms told Dale and Holley that Ryan is a unique figure in the NFL, and isn’t surprised that the head coach of the Jets is so popular with his players.

“It’s nothing like we’ve never seen in the NFL, it’s nothing like we’ve seen in professional sports,” said Simms of Ryan. “He says what’s on his mind, and players on his team react well to it. ‘€¦ He lets the players have a free reign and it’s working well for him right now, no question.”

CBS was first to report the benching of Wes Welker, doing so right before kickoff on Sunday. Simms ‘€” who said CBS learned of the plans of bench Welker “about a minute or two before kickoff” ‘€” was asked if he was surprised that Bill Belichick chose to discipline Welker.

“It didn’t surprise me,” said Simms. “I thought that when Wes Welker did his tongue-in-cheek thing on Rex Ryan this past week I thought, ‘OK, well he must have got the OK to attack the Jets a little bit.’ But apparently he did not have the OK, so he paid the price by missing the first series.”

Simms did not have a problem with the Patriots’ apparent lack of urgency toward the end of the game. The Patriots offense ‘€” down 10 points in the fourth quarter ‘€” took eight minutes to run a 14-play drive that included seven rushes, a drive that ultimately ended on downs.

“I don’t know, if they hurried up was that going to give them another possession in the game?” Simms asked. “I don’t think so, and in fact I’m convinced it wouldn’t.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

Patriots announce seven re-signed from practice squad

01.18.11 at 11:34 am ET
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The Patriots announced that they have signed tight end Carson Butler, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, wide receiver Buddy Farnham, defensive lineman Marlon Favorite, wide receiver Darnell Jenkins, cornerback Thad Turner and defensive back Ross Ventrone to future contracts. All seven players finished the 2010 season on the New England practice squad.

Butler, 6-4, 260 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on August. 2, 2010 and was waived on Sept. 4. He was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 21. Butler was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as a rookie free agent out of Michigan in 2009. He was waived by Green Bay in late July and signed by the Detroit Lions in early August. After being waived by Detroit prior to the start of the 2009 regular season, he spent parts of the year on the practice squads of San Francisco and Cincinnati. Butler signed with the New York Giants in January of 2010 but was waived in June.

Crompton, 6-3, 222 pounds, was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. He was waived by San Diego on Sept. 4. Crompton was signed to the San Diego practice squad on Sept. 5 but was waived from the squad on Sept. 7. He was signed to the New England practice squad on Nov. 3.

Farnham, 6-0, 185 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Brown on May 3, 2010 and was released on Aug. 9 before being re-signed on Aug. 15. He was released on the final cut-down on Sept. 4. Farnham was signed to the New England practice squad on Dec. 29.

Favorite, 6-1, 317 pounds, joined the New England practice squad on Jan. 4. He spent his rookie season in 2009 on the practice squads of St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle and New Orleans after originally joining the NFL as a rookie free agent with Carolina in 2009 out of Louisiana State. Favorite spent time with Buffalo in the 2010 offseason and then went to training camp with Indianapolis before being released prior to the start of the regular season.

Jenkins, 5-10, 191 pounds, was originally signed by Houston as a rookie agent out of Miami in 2008. He spent the majority of his rookie season on the Houston practice squad before being signed to the active roster for the final two games of the season. Jenkins was waived by Houston following training camp in 2009 and spent time on the practice squads of both Houston and Cleveland before joining the New England practice squad. Jenkins went to training camp with the Patriots in 2010 and before joining the practice squad again in 2010.

Turner, 5-11, 188 pounds, was originally signed by Indianapolis as a rookie free agent out of Ohio on April 30, 2010. He was waived by the Colts on Aug, 12, 2010 and signed to the New England practice squad on Nov. 10.

Ventrone, 5-8, 190 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Villanova on April 29, 2010. He was waived by the Patriots on Sept. 4 and then signed to the practice squad on Oct. 19.

Read More: Buddy Farnham, Carson Butler, darnell jenkins, Jonathan Crompton

Ex-Patriots running back Laurence Maroney arrested on weapons charges

01.18.11 at 8:58 am ET
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Former Patriots running back Laurence Maroney was arrested on weapons charges in his hometown of St. Louis. According to KMOV-TV, Maroney, who was dealt to Denver early in the 2010 season, was in a vehicle with three other men when the arrest took place. Maroney was originally taken by New England in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Minnesota, and during his four seasons with the Patriots, he appeared in 52 regular-season games with 14 starts and seven postseason games with two starts. Maroney’€™s regular-season Patriots totals included 2,430 rushing yards on 582 carries with 21 touchdowns. He also added 41 receptions for 1,062 yards receiving.

While Maroney’s publicist, Jane Higgins, confirmed to the Associated Press that the running back was arrested, she denied that he was arrested on drug-related charges. From the AP story:

“He holds a permit to carry a concealed weapon,” Higgins said in a statement. “He was not arrested for any drugs nor was he involved in a high-speed chase. He was released without being charged with any offense and we do not anticipate he will be charged with any criminal offense.”

Police spokeswoman Erica Van Ross said one of the men had a valid concealed weapon permit but that state law prohibits possessing a gun while under the influence of drugs. She declined to elaborate.

Van Ross said the process of seeking charges could take up to a month.

Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth said, “We’re aware of the matter but have no additional comment at this time.”

Read More: Laurence Maroney, playoffs,

Bart Scott said Wes Welker shouldn’t try to be like a Jet

01.18.11 at 7:46 am ET
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Speaking to the NFL Network’€™s Albert Breer, New York linebacker Bart Scott continued his tirade against the Patriots and Wes Welker.

Scott explained to Breer explained that the Patriots’€™ wide receiver attempted a tactic he was unfamiliar with when making subtle references to Rex Ryan‘€™s foot fetish controversy during a mid-week press conference.

‘€œIt was out of character,’€ Scott told Breer. ‘€œThat’€™s not what he does. It takes a lot of balls to put that out there. What happens is you put a bull’€™s-eye on yourself, everyone wants to see you put your foot in your mouth.’€ (Scott probably didn’€™t intend that one.)

‘€œAnd now he gets the opportunity to step out of character, tries to be us. There’€™s enough New York Jets in the world, we don’€™t need anyone else trying to copy our blueprint.’€

For more Patriots coverage, see the team page at

Read More: playoffs,

Pats reportedly ink practice squadders to reserve/future contracts, extend three others

01.18.11 at 12:37 am ET
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A day after being eliminated from the postseason, the Patriots signed tight end Carson Butler, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, wide receiver Buddy Farnham, defensive lineman Marlon Favorite, wide receiver Darnell Jenkins, cornerback Thad Turner, and safety Ross Ventrone to reserve/future deals, according to ESPN. The moves are standard operating procedure for teams at this time of the season, locking up practice squad players to allow them to join the team once rosters expand to 80 players in the offseason.

In addition offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, defensive lineman Darryl Richard, and safety Bret Lockett have all recently had their contracts extended, according to NFLPA documents. All three were set to become exclusive-rights free agents following this season, and all received one-year extensions.

Read More: Bret Lockett, Buddy Farnham, Carson Butler, darnell jenkins
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