|Patriots bringing Brian Daboll back to coaching staff||01.14.13 at 12:00 pm ET|
FOXBORO — In a move similar to bringing back Josh McDaniels during last year’s playoff run as an offensive coaching assistant, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick announced Monday that Brian Daboll is in the process of rejoining the coaching staff. Belichick said Daboll’s role hasn’t been specified yet.
“[It's] similar to what Josh did last year but without any specific responsibility at this time,” Belichick said in announcing the move during Monday’s conference call with reporters. “As soon as we get that worked out, he’ll be part of our coaching staff going forward.”
Daboll was first with the Patriots in the early 2000s, serving as a defensive coaching assistant in 2000. He then worked with McDaniels and coached the wide receivers from 2002-06.
“It’s great to have Brian back,” McDaniels said. “He’s a very good football coach, very knowledgeable and can help us a will certainly help us in a lot of different ways. Certainly having another set of eyes with experience and has a lot of understanding of our system and how we go about doing things, I think, is only a positive for us and can help our football team going forward. I look forward to doing that with Brian.
“Last year when I came back, really anything they asked me to do, I was excited to do. You know, anything you can do to help at this time of year is useful, whether that’s drawing practice cards or sitting in a meeting and having a few ideas on a certain situation in the game plan or anything like that during the course of a week. Everything is so important; every detail is very critical at this time of year and having another football coach on your staff to help is nothing but helpful for us.”
Daboll left New England and joined the staff of head coach Eric Mangini with the Jets and served as quarterbacks coach in 2007-08.
After leaving the Jets, Daboll became the Browns offensive coordinator from 2009-10. He had the same job with the Dolphins (2011) and the Chiefs this past season.
Belichick is very familiar with him, as he served as a graduate assistant for Nick Saban at Michigan State from 1998-99.
|Report: Josh McDaniels ‘hasn’t thought about anything but this season all year’||12.20.12 at 2:51 pm ET|
Josh McDaniels may not be headed out of town after all.
After a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Wednesday that McDaniels “would jump” at the chance to return to his native Northeast Ohio roots and coach the Browns, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that there has been no such contact even attempted.
The Patriots offensive coordinator was raised in nearby Canton, Ohio and was a star at Canton McKinley before moving onto John Carroll University, where he played with Patriots personnel chief Nick Caserio. McDaniels is reportedly the third choice of new team CEO Joe Banner to take the place of Pat Shurmur. Banner, who is looking at hiring Michael Lombardi as the team’s new GM, reportedly has his sights set on Nick Saban and Chip Kelly.
“[McDaniels] hasn’t thought about anything but this season all year long,” a source close to McDaniels told Schefter.
McDaniels returned for his second stint in New England last December when Steve Spagnuolo was fired as head coach of the Rams and McDaniels was permitted to join the Patriots in time for their playoff run.
McDaniels was 11-17 in his first shot at an NFL head coaching job in Denver in 2009-10.
|Will Josh McDaniels ‘jump’ Patriots ship for the Browns?||12.19.12 at 2:57 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On Tuesday, Josh McDaniels, as he always does, did a lot of talking about the past game and the upcoming opponent for the Patriots offense.
On Wednesday, all of the buzz was about whether this might be the final few weeks of his second stint in New England.
Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns beat reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, tweeted that McDaniels would jump at the chance to coach the Browns.
McDaniels is a native of nearby Canton, Ohio and was a star quarterback for high school powerhouse Canton McKinley, where he played for his father Thom. He was then recruited by and played for John Carroll University in the Cleveland suburbs. He was a wide receiver for John Carroll after being beaten out at quarterback by now-Patriots personnel director Nick Caserio.
The irony here is rich. Last season at this time, it was McDaniels who was allowed out of his offensive coordinator job with the Rams to join the Patriots as a consultant in time for playoffs.
Would this be a distraction? Almost certainly not, since the Patriots have become experts in transition coaching beginning with the 2004 team that lost Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis at the end of a season that concluded with a win in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Just last season, the Patriots made it back to the Super Bowl with McDaniels working with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who left to take over at Penn State.
Cleveland is the place where Bill Belichick began his head coaching career, and Belichick certainly understands the rich tradition of football in Northeast Ohio, especially for those who grew up with it. Read the rest of this entry »
|Robert Kraft remembers the late Art Modell||09.06.12 at 3:55 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Robert Kraft lost a role model with the death of Art Modell.
The Patriots owner is regarded as one of the most influential people in sports for his position on the television negotiating committee for NFL owners. But long before the NFL became the mega-sport it is now with a multi-billion dollar TV deal, Kraft paid close attention to Modell, then the owner of the Cleveland Browns in the 1970s.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Art Modell,” Kraft said in a statement released on Thursday. “I regret that I hadn’t talked to him since the passing of his wife, Pat, last year. We both shared that experience, and I know how hard that was for Art. When I first entered the league, Art was quick to welcome me, and I always appreciated that. He leaves a lasting legacy for the many contributions he made to the National Football League. The one thing that I always admired most about Art was his understanding of the role television would play in the growth of the game of football and the overall popularity of the NFL.
“He understood the value of primetime games at a time when there really wasn’t a tremendous demand. He helped negotiate and launch ABC’s Monday Night Football in 1970. I can’t remember what Monday nights were like during the fall before Monday Night Football, nor could I imagine them without football today. Football fans everywhere owe him a debt of gratitude for that alone. I speak for my entire family in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the Modells.”
Modell died early Thursday at the age of 87 of what his son David termed were “natural causes.” The longtime NFL owner is most famous for moving the Browns from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1995 and renaming them the Ravens. He admittedly forever tarnished his legacy in Cleveland with the notorious move.
It’s ironic and appropriate that the Ravens last game with Modell as owner came last January when Kraft’s Patriots beat Baltimore in the AFC Championship.
|Why Ross Ventrone is uniquely qualified to be a Patriot||11.18.11 at 8:06 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There is not a single player who knows the ups and downs and ins and outs of being with the Patriots more than safety and special teamer Ross Ventrone.
When you are involved in 21 transactions from the day you were signed as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova in April 2010, you get used to the roller coaster that is being a fringe NFL player.
“To be bounced around like that, it is pretty unique but week to week, I just look at it hopefully, I’m going to play,” Ventrone said Friday. “I’m going to prepare like I’m going to play. I don’t look at it any differently than if I was here the whole time.
“I don’t get discouraged. Just keep working hard. I know things work out the way they do sometimes and the number system and different positions and everything. I just hope they bring me back and so far, so I’m just working every day to get better and better and help the team the best I can.”
But Ventrone, trying to follow in the footsteps of his brother Ray, has not just accepted it, he’s fully embraced it. And in the process, won the football heart of Bill Belichick.
“Great, he’s handled it great,” Belichick raved Friday, two days after Ventrone, who has been involved in 16 transactions in 2011, with his latest coming on Wednesday when he was signed back to the practice squad after being released on Monday. Just last Saturday, he was signed off the practice squad and added to the active roster for the Jets game.
Such is life for the man who calls himself @RustyBenson35 on Twitter. Belichick took Ventrone aside shortly after practice on Aug. 10 for an extended conversation. Hours later he was released. But clearly, part of that conversation was conveying the message that the Patriots and Belichick had every intention of bringing him back on the roster time after time because they liked his work ethic.
“We’ve had other guys along with him that have been on and off the practice squad or the practice squad or the roster but probably none more than him. He might lead the league in transactions. He has to be right up there,” Belichick said. “But he’s handled it great. We have a good line of communication and understanding, myself and Nick [Caserio] and Ross. We’ve talked about the various situations that he has been a part of and involved in. I think he’s handled it great.”
Ventrone says the yo-yo motion hasn’t affected his love or focus for football.
“I never know what’s going to happen. I just hope for the best and just keep working and getting after it,” said Ventrone, who added he’s not worried about another NFL team that might pick him up off waivers, ending his time in New England.
“I don’t really get into that really much. It hasn’t happened. I’m here. This is where I’m at right now. That’s really all I’m focused on at the moment. Just worried about the Chiefs right now.
“Just in the knowledge of the game. Just being around this organization and the players I’m around. The knowledge of football I’ve gained through game-planning and schemes and all that. Week-to-week, just learning about other teams and then our schemes and being able to apply it on the football field so I can become a better football player and able to make plays that way.”
Like Ross, Ray Ventrone played at Villanova and matriculated to the Belichick Patriots. Read the rest of this entry »
|Browns to release Jake Delhomme||07.27.11 at 3:24 pm ET|
The Browns are showing a lot of faith in second-year quarterback Colt McCoy.
According to a tweet from Adam Schefter, Cleveland is set to release veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme.
Delhomme signed a two-year deal with the Browns last offseason and after winning the starting job over Seneca Wallace, suffered a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of the first game of the season. Ultimately starting four games, Delhomme threw seven interceptions and just two touchdowns. Schefter also indicated that the Louisiana-Lafayette product is not ready to hang up his cleats for good.
|Report: Kosar meets with Belichick about job||01.28.11 at 5:09 pm ET|
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, retired NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar has met with Patriots coach Bill Belichick about a position with the Patriots. While the report said that Kosar would “probably not” be interested in a coaching gig, he would welcome work as a consultant to a team’s football operations.
Kosar played for Belichick with the Browns in the early-1990s, when the coach infamously cut the Cleveland icon. But the two have since reconciled any differences (Kosar spoke highly of Belichick when he was named coach of the Patriots), and Belichick recently praised Kosar when Tom Brady surpassed his record for most consecutive passes without an interception.
“Bernie, like Tom, was very diligent in his preparation. He studied everything — the schemes, the players, the individual tendencies as well as the overall teams schemes and tendencies,” Belichick said in late-December. “I’d say both players are very well prepared and neither one make a lost of mistakes in terms of misreading something or not knowing who was going to run a certain route or who was hot or getting fooled by different defensive looks. Things like that.
“So Bernie’s preparation was excellent, and he was a good decision-maker — very careful about where he threw the ball in terms of not turning it over and making throws like that and making good decisions and knowing when he was pressured, not taking a sack and turning it into an interception and things like that. Trying to make plays that were impossible. I think Tom’s kind of the same way. He reads things. Even when plays break down for one reason or another, a receiver gets jammed or there’s a breakdown in protection, or sees a good coverage that matches up particularly well against a pattern you have called, that’s when a quarterback really has to be his most sharp and most alert and not let that become a turnover or a worse play than what’s already not a good play. I’d say Bernie and Tom throughout their careers, do a good job of that — better than a lot of quarterbacks do. It’s not only taking the plays that are there, it’s taking the plays that aren’t going to work out well, and keep them from being bad plays or turnovers.”
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