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Josh McDaniels confirms: ‘I’ll definitely be here’ in New England with Patriots in 2014 01.14.14 at 4:33 pm ET
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Josh McDaniels (hat) will be back with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in 2014.  (AP)

Josh McDaniels (hat) will be back with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in 2014. (AP)

Not that it should surprise anyone but Josh McDaniels has confirmed the obvious – he’ll be back with the Patriots in 2014.

The Patriots offensive coordinator confirmed that he withdrew his name from consideration for the head coaching vacancy with the Cleveland Browns on the same day Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles did likewise.

On Tuesday, during a conference call, McDaniels shed some light on the reason why he’s staying in New England.

“Well, I’€™ll definitely be here. I think all it means is that, you know, I made the decision that this is the right time for me to be here,” McDaniels said. “I’€™m really happy here ‘€“ I’€™ve said that numerous times. There’€™s not really much else to it. I don’€™t think it’€™s ‘€“ you know it’€™s a process you go through sometimes and you ultimately have to make choices based on what’€™s best for you and your family. That’€™s what I try to do.”

There is the possibility that one of his key weapons may not be staying around with McDaniels as Julian Edelman is a free agent after the season.

It’s been under McDaniels’ tutelage that Edelman has grown into one of the more feared slot receivers in the NFL, taking the chance to replace Wes Welker and running with it all the way to a likely lucrative free agency prize.

“Well, Julian has always had great ability. He’€™s a guy that has speed and can do a lot of different things€“ versatility,” McDaniels said. “Certainly, I wasn’€™t here when we first got him the first years that he was here, and have had an opportunity to really get to know him the last couple years. His opportunities have certainly increased and he is a guy that embraces whatever role you give him each week.

“He’€™s capable of playing on the perimeter of the offense and he has for us. He’€™s also unselfish and will do whatever we ask of him in any role, whether that’€™s to be a clear-out guy, block the secondary in the running game, whatever it may be, and he’€™s always had a great attitude towards his work and his preparation. I just see a guy that’€™s driven to be a great player. He’€™s always tried to be the best he could be.

“He’€™s certainly had opportunities presented to him this year that he’€™s taken advantage of. I think he’€™s really led our receiving group with a tremendous amount of toughness, consistency. He practices hard, prepares hard, he’€™s on top of his game plan. He understands the defenses that we play and the players he’€™s going to compete against. I think he’€™s just really made himself a very well-rounded player that certainly has had a very productive year for us.”

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Read More: Cleveland Browns, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots, nfl
Rob Gronkowski undergoes ACL surgery that Dr. James Andrews says ‘went very well’ 01.09.14 at 10:24 pm ET
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Cleveland safety T.J. Ward (43) takes out Rob Gronkowski (87) with a hit to his lower right leg. (AP)

Cleveland safety T.J. Ward (43) takes out Rob Gronkowski (87) with a hit to his lower right leg. (AP)

Rob Gronkowski took his first step Thursday toward a return to the playing field in 2014 with reconstructive surgery on his right ACL.

The procedure was performed by renown orthopedic surgery Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. On site with Gronkowski were his father Gordy Gronkowski and Gronkowski’s super agent Drew Rosenhaus, who tweeted after the procedure that Andrews said the surgery “went very well.”

Gronkowski tore his ACL and injured his MCL on Dec. 8 in a win over the Browns when T.J. Ward went low and took out his knees on a 21-yard seam route.

Gronkowski is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the 2014 regular season.

Later in the evening, after Gronkowski was in recovery, the tight end tweeted his thanks to all the well-wishes from fans.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Gordy Gronkowski, Gronk, james andrews
Josh McDaniels reportedly withdraws his name from Cleveland Browns head coaching search 01.08.14 at 2:07 pm ET
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Josh McDaniels (foreground) has withdrawn his name in Cleveland. (AP)

Josh McDaniels (foreground) has withdrawn his name in Cleveland. (AP)

FOXBORO — Josh McDaniels isn’t going anywhere.

According to a tweet from ESPN football reporter Adam Schefter Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots offensive coordinator, who reportedly interviewed with his hometown Browns on Saturday, has withdrawn his name from the search to replace Rob Chudzinski. McDaniels was a quarterback star for his father Thom McDaniels at Canton McKinley high school, just 45 miles south of Cleveland.

Chudzinski was fired by GM Mike Lombardi and team CEO Joe Banner after just one season, after producing a 4-12 record on the shores of Lake Erie.

McDaniels left after the 2008 season in New England to take over as head coach in Denver. But after a 6-0 start to his career in 2009, he won just five of his next 22 games over the next season and a half and was fired in the middle of the 2010 season after a 3-9 start.

McDaniels took over as the offensive coordinator in St. Louis for Steve Spagnuolo in 2011 and left that job to return to New England in time for the Patriots’ playoff run to Super Bowl XLVI.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots
Tom Brady on Josh McDaniels: ‘I’m glad he’s my coach’ 01.01.14 at 2:55 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Whether or not the Patriots lose offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the Cleveland Browns, Tom Brady made a point of appreciating the work McDaniels has done in his two stints in New England.

Brady and McDaniels worked together from 2001-2008, when McDaniels left to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos for a season and a half. He then spent most of 2011 as the Rams offensive coordinator before returning to the Patriots late in the run to Super Bowl XLVI.

It was a natural when McDaniels, a native of Northeast Ohio, became a candidate for the Browns head coaching vacancy when Rob Chudzinski was fired on Monday.

“I’m not surprised by much anymore in the NFL,” Brady said of McDaniels’ name coming up as a leading candidate. “He’s a great coach and I said the other day, he’s one of my best buds and I’ve been around him for a long time so I know him pretty well. I’m glad he’s my coach.”

He was not as effusive about another former offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien will reportedly be hired as the new coach of the Houston Texans. He was on the Patriots staff from 2007-11, and was the fiery offensive coordinator during the ’11 season with Brady.

“That was a long time ago,” Brady said of his time with O’Brien. “Truthfully, I’m just trying to stay focused on this week. That’s not really in my thought process right now.”

As for other teams tapping the Bill Belichick coaching tree, Brady said he’s grown accustomed to it by now.

“Multiple times but it’s a credit to those guys and what they’ve accomplished,” Brady said. “It’s a very flattering thing when other people are interested. But you know, they’ll make their decisions based on whatever they make their decisions based on. I still have to go out there and do my job, which is ultimately what I owe this team and what I signed up for and what I promised Mr. Kraft when I signed my contract. What I commit to Belichick and all my teammates that I’m going to do the best I can do. It doesn’t matter who’s coaching or who’s running routes or who [I'm] handing the ball off to or who’s blocking or who’s playing defense. I’ve got to do my job and that’s where my focus is.”

He wasn’t staying up late on New Year’s Eve worrying about his coaching staff or partying.

“I was asleep. We had an early-morning practice,” Brady said.

Read More: Bill O'Brien, Cleveland Browns, houston texans, Josh McDaniels
Bill Belichick walks a fine line: ‘We’re all going to make mistakes and nobody makes more of them than I do’ 12.20.13 at 11:50 am ET
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Stevan Ridley has bounced back after his benching. (AP)

Stevan Ridley has bounced back after his benching. (AP)

FOXBORO — On Friday, Bill Belichick revealed his more humble side to make a point about the fine line he walks between correcting mistakes and accepting them as part of the game and the other side where too many can just kill a team.

The obvious best example of this on the 2013 Patriots is Stevan Ridley, the most explosive running back the Patriots have. He was benched in the Houston game after losing fumbles in each of the previous three games.

He came back against Cleveland and Miami, carrying the ball just eight times in each of the two games. He is averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season on 151 carries.

Belichick was asked Friday if there is a balance a coach has to go through between making it a teaching moment not only for him but also the other players on the roster and taking him out of the equation hurting the team. In other words, is there a balance to strike as a coach between making sure that they get the message that it’€™s not acceptable while not hurting the team?

“I’€™d say absolutely,” Belichick said. “I think that’€™s the perfect way to put it actually. That’€™s the balance they’€™re trying to strike. I think that’€™s true probably every day of the football season, let’€™s put it that way. Every day of the football season, including OTAs, including training camp. Everybody has to understand that there’€™s a below the line level. When it’€™s below the line, we can’€™t live with it. It hurts the team. Now, we’€™re all going to make mistakes and nobody makes more of them than I do. I understand that mistakes are part of the game. I’€™ve been in it long enough to know there’€™s no perfect player, no perfect game or practice. If you go out there and compete against high level competition, that they’€™re going to make some plays too.

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Read More: Baltiimore Ravens, Bill Belichick, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots
Reports: Rob Gronkowski should be ready for 2014 season 12.17.13 at 11:41 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski should be ready to rejoin his Patriots teammates in time for the 2014 season. (AP)

Rob Gronkowski should be ready to rejoin his Patriots teammates in time for the 2014 season. (AP)

With knee surgery expected by the end of the year, Rob Gronkowski should be ready to go when the 2014 season opens next September, according to multiple media outlets.

The Boston Herald Tuesday morning confirmed the story first reported by the NFL Network that the Patriots star tight end should be ready after reconstruction of his right ACL and MCL, injured on Dec. 8 when Cleveland’s T.J. Ward went low and upended him, ending his season.

The Herald reports the surgery is expected to be performed by Dr. James Andrews in two weeks. It was Andrews who consulted with Gronkowski and the Patriots as he worked to clear hurdles in a recovery from forearm and back surgeries.

This will mark at least the eighth surgery of Gronkowski’s career, with seven of them coming within the last two years. He has had four on his forearm, two on his back and one on his ankle.

The latest significant injury came when Ward drilled Gronkowski in the side of the right knee following a 21-yard completion from Tom Brady. Gronkowski landed on season-ending injured reserve the next day.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Gronk, james andrews, New England Patriots
T.J. Ward not fined for season-ending hit on Rob Gronkowski 12.13.13 at 5:07 pm ET
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Cleveland safety T.J. Ward (43) takes out Rob Gronkowski (87) with a hit to his lower right leg. (AP)

Cleveland safety T.J. Ward (43) takes out Rob Gronkowski (87) with a hit to his lower right leg. (AP)

There will be no financial penalty or other discipline levied against Browns safety T.J. Ward for his season-ending hit on the right knee of Rob Gronkowski.

The key, in the eyes of the NFL’s disciplinary panel, was that Gronkowski was not a defenseless receiver. He had the ball following a seam pass from Tom Brady so the hit was technically legal. Ward, at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, dove into Gronkowski’s right leg as his foot was planting, which forced his knee to bend while simultaneously lifting the tight end into the air. Gronkowski, at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, somersaulted sideways and suffered a torn ACL and MCL.

He was placed on injured reserve Monday, ending his season.

After Sunday’s game, Ward, who has been fined multiple times in his career for high hits, lamented that he has to go low to avoid another more serious fine.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Gronk, New England Patriots, nfl
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