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Josh McDaniels ‘focused on Chiefs,’ not interviewing for other head coaching jobs 01.11.16 at 10:52 am ET
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While not coming out and saying it, Josh McDaniels had no interest in seeking other head coaching jobs around the NFL. He’s much more interested and focused on getting Tom Brady and his offense ready for the Kansas City Chiefs this Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

McDaniels’ name once again came up in early talk about coaching vacancies in cities like Miami, Cleveland and New York (Giants). But word leaked late last week that he was taking his name out of consideration.

“I’m focused on the Chiefs and there’s nothing to report,” McDaniels said in a conference call Monday morning. “I’m excited for this week right now and don’t really have nothing to add to it.”

McDaniels, like Matt Patricia with the Browns, had a chance over the weekend to interview while the Patriots were resting on their bye. Why is this different for McDaniels?

“I think each year is different,” McDaniels said. “My focus is on the Chiefs and getting our team ready this year for this game. I’m excited to get a start on that preparation with the players this week.

“I think that there’s a lot of experiences that you have in coaching. If you learn from the experiences as you go through them, whether it’s as a coordinator, a position coach, a quality control coach, a head coach, whatever it might be, and you learn from those experiences, and take the good and take the bad and try to assess what you can do to be a better coach, a better staff member, what have you. Then hopefully we’re all improving. That’s the goal. Right now, my focus is on being the best coordinator and quarterback coach I can be for us so that we can get ready and have our best game of the year against the Chiefs right now.”

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Read More: 2016 NFL playoffs, Cleveland Browns, Josh McDaniels, Miami Dolphins
Bill Belichick on Tom Coughlin: ‘He deserves a lot of credit for all he’s accomplished in his career’ 01.05.16 at 11:29 am ET
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Tom Coughlin meets Bill Belichick after the Patriots 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 15.  (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tom Coughlin meets Bill Belichick after the Patriots 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 15. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

The likely end of Tom Coughlin‘s career as an NFL head coach came to pass on Monday when he met with Giants co-owner John Mara and Steve Tisch and informed them that he would be stepping down immediately as head coach.

There is not another head coach in the NFL that knows Coughlin any better than Bill Belichick.

The two were on Bill Parcells‘ staff with the Giants from 1988-90. Coughlin was a wide receivers coach while Belichick was the defensive coordinator. They helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV over the Bills. Coughlin, who turns 70 this August, then took over as head coach at Boston College before leaving after 1993 to become the first head coach in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He led them to the AFC title game in 1996, where they lost to Parcells, Belichick and the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium.

“Tom’s had a great career as a head coach and an assistant coach,” Belichick said in conference call Tuesday. “BC, Jacksonville, New York. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time. I have a lot of respect for Tom, his family, the way he approaches his job and the way he coaches. We have a great relationship at the Giants when we were on the same staff and had good relationships through our respective careers.”

Most famously, Coughlin spent his last 12 years as head coach of the Giants, gaining a bit of revenge over Belichick twice on the game’s biggest stage. Coughlin will be most remembered as the head coach that ended the Patriots’ perfect season bid in Feb. 2008 when he beat Belichick’s Patriots, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII. Coughlin did it again four years later, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI.

Their final meeting came this season when Stephen Gostkowski‘s kick at the end gave the Patriots a 27-26 win at MetLife Stadium over the Giants.

“Lots for him to be proud of,” Belichick said. “Unfortunately, a couple of his biggest wins came at our expense. He deserves a lot of credit for all he’s accomplished in his career.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Boston College, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bill Belichick, Dick LeBeau and the evolution of the zone blitz 12.18.15 at 11:57 am ET
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78-year-old Dick LeBeau is now a coach for the Tennessee Titans. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

78-year-old Dick LeBeau is now a coach for the Tennessee Titans. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Dick LeBeau has been in the NFL for 57 years. He’s been coaching since 1973, two years before Bill Belichick got his start.

The 78-year-old LeBeau has been a coach in five Super Bowls, winning twice with the Steelers in 2005 and 2008. Now, he’s an assistant head coach and defensive assistant for the Titans, the team that the Patriots will see on Sunday at Gillette.

But what LeBeau is most famous for can be summed up in two words: Zone blitz.

In the 1980s, LeBeau, the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, expanded a package that Dolphins defensive coach Bill Arnsparger initially conceived in 1971, where linebackers and defensive lineman show a look at the line of scrimmage before dropping back into coverage areas left vacant by blitzing defenders.

While LeBeau was with the Bengals, Belichick was the defensive coordinator with the Giants. Belichick revealed Friday that he actually used many of the same principles of Arnsparger and LeBeau but it was LeBeau who took it to a whole new level.

“I’€™d say he definitely popularized it. When I was at the Giants, we ran some of that, but it was nowhere near to the degree that he ran it,” Belichick recalled Friday. “We would just bring an extra guy at times based on formation or tendency or particular key, that kind of thing where we just add another guy in and still play zone behind it. When you have a 3-4 defense, the teams that ran the West Coast offense, they only had one protector on the strong side, so they get three guys out to the strong side and they would only have one blocker, so they would have to throw hot if you brought two guys over there. But the zone blitz really killed that because there was a guy standing there to the guy that you were throwing hot to.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Cincinnati Bengals, Dick LeBeau, New England Patriots
Patriots confirm addition of Joseph Fauria, Brock Vereen and Chris Greenwood to practice squad 11.18.15 at 12:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots are sticking with a familiar and familial theme.

The team confirmed Wednesday before practice the signing of tight end Joseph Fauria, cornerback Chris Greenwood and safety Brock Vereen to the practice squad.

To make room, they released defensive backs Ross Ventrone and Dewey McDonald from the practice squad.

Fauria, 25, is a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions (2013-14) and is the nephew of Christian Fauria, the two-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots and current WEEI midday host. The 6-foot-7, 262-pounder, originally signed with Detroit as a rookie free agent out of UCLA in 2013. He played in 23 games with two starts and caught 24 passes for 281 yards and eight touchdowns in his two seasons, including seven touchdowns as a rookie in 2013. Fauria went to training camp with Detroit this past summer but was released on Sept. 5. He was signed by Arizona on Sept. 10 and spent time on the Cardinals practice squad before being released on Oct. 2.

Vereen, 23, is in his second NFL season after being drafted by Chicago in the fourth round (131st overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft and is the younger brother of Giants running back and former Patriots star third-down back Shane Vereen. The 5-foot-11, 202-pounder, played in all 16 games with four starts for the Bears in his rookie season and totaled 38 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. He appeared in three games as a reserve for Chicago this season before being released on Sept. 29. Vereen joined the Minnesota practice squad on Oct. 1 and was released on Nov. 13.

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Read More: Brock Vereen, Chris Greenwood, Joseph Fauria, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick has no update on Julian Edelman, Jamie Collins 11.16.15 at 3:53 pm ET
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The injuries continue to mount for the Patriots, and there’s no word coming yet as to when exactly the Patriots might get either Julian Edelman or Jamie Collins back.

Edelman reportedly suffered a true Jones fracture and had surgery Monday on the broken fifth metatarsal in his foot. He suffered the injury on the final play of the first quarter of Sunday’s win over the Giants. Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo said his season is “in jeopardy,” but he could return for the playoffs.

But there is hope from the team, according to Adam Schefter, that he will be able to come back in time for the playoffs.

Coach Bill Belichick said Monday during the conference that he had no update on Edelman’s health or when he might return. Edelman was spotted in a walking boot and on crutches being carted to the team bus following the game. Edelman has been Brady’s most dependable receiver this year, catching 61 passes for 692 yards and a career-high with seven touchdowns.

As for Collins, CSN’s Tom Curran reported last week that the linebacker is on the mend from a virus and his return could be coming shortly.

“We’ll update [his condition] when we do the injury report,” Belichick said. “We obviously didn’t practice [Monday]. We’ll wait till we get kind of get into a situation where we’re going to be doing something, some kind of significant activity and we’ll see where our players are at that point and let you know then, same as we always do.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Jamie Collins, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Danny Amendola takes blame on punt return snafu: ‘I’ve got to pick my feet up or something’ at 7:58 am ET
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Danny Amendola is tripped up shy of the endzone by his own teammate Duron Harmon. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Danny Amendola is tripped up shy of the endzone by his own teammate Duron Harmon. (Elsa/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Danny Amendola did it all Sunday.

He picked up the slack when Julian Edelman went down with a foot injury. He duped the Giants into thinking he was not going to field a punt and then set up a key touchdown with an 82-yard return.

And he took the onus off Duron Harmon for tripping him at the end of the return when there was nothing but green turf separating him from the end zone.

All of the tough parts were out of the way. He called the “Peter” play where he waved his hands sideways, fooled the Giants into thinking he wasn’t going to return the punt but fielded it anyway at the Patriots 11.

“I’m not going to tell you my tricks but it ended up working out,” Amendola said.

The Patriots needed every single trick Amendola could pull out of the bag since they were trailing, 20-10, at the time in the third quarter and appeared dead in the water with the Giants controlling field position. Duron Harmon tripping him at the Giants 10 turned out to be comical instead of costly when LeGarrette Blount was able to plunge over from the 1.

“I’ll take blame on that, man,” Amendola said of his fall. “I’ve got to pick my feet up or something.”

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Read More: Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, New York Giants
Stephen Gostkowski plays hero: ‘You’re one play away from trending on Twitter as No. 1 loser in America’ 11.15.15 at 11:28 pm ET
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Stephen Gostkowski knew full well what was at stake as he warmed up and took the field with six seconds left and the Patriots trailing 26-24.

“You’re one kick away from being public enemy No. 1,” Gostkowski reflected after drilling a game-winning 54-yard field goal to keep the Patriots perfect. “That’s why my job is very humbling. No matter how many kicks that I get, how many games that we win, I’m always going to try and stay humble and have humility because you’re one play away from trending on Twitter as the No. 1 loser in America.”

The Giants called time out just before the kick.

“You’ve got to expect it,” Gostkowski said. “I have one job to do and if I let anything get me off focus, I have a good chance of missing the kick. I think me, Joe [Cardona] and Ryan [Allen] just felt eerily calm out there. Me and Ryan were looking at each other, smiling on the sidelines. It just felt like I was going to get that opportunity. It’s fun to be in those situations.”

While the special teams had a great night, Gostkowski was in the game-winning situation because Tom Brady, with the help of a great Danny Amendola catch on 4th-and-10, overcame a spotty fourth quarter to lead the Patriots to the Giants 36 yard line.

“Steve is such a clutch kicker,” Brady said. “So it was great to see the ball go through those uprights.”

In the week leading up to Gostkowski’s heroics, WEEI’s Chris Price broke down what kind of historic season Gostkowski is enjoying. Gostkowski has now made 30 straight field goals, including all 21 this season, while converting all 34 extra points.

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Read More: New England Patriots, New York Giants, nfl, Stephen Gostkowski
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