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Report: Patriots ‘targeting’ Stevie Johnson 03.13.15 at 8:06 pm ET
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Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Patriots apparently really like what they saw from the Bills passing game in the last couple of seasons.

Early on Friday, the Patriots reportedly signed Scott Chandler to add to depth to their tight end position. Later in the day, it was reported by Dianna Maria Russini of NBC4 in Washington, D.C. that the Patriots have their eyes on receiver Stevie Johnson and are ‘targeting’ the wideout.

The 28-year-old Johnson left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. This week, he was released by the 49ers after a disappointing season.

Before 2014, Johnson earned a reputation as one of the better route runners in the game. While with the Bills, Johnson caught four touchdown passes in nine games against the Patriots. The Patriots are looking for another perimeter passing threat to join Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and the recently restructured Danny Amendola.

In seven seasons, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season. Johnson would figure to immediately be ahead of Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson and Kevin Dorsey on the depth chart.

Read More: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, NFL free agency 2015, San Francisco 49ers
What Antonio Brown might teach Josh McDaniels, Patriots about Ravens’ approach to Rob Gronkowski 01.05.15 at 9:32 pm ET
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Josh McDaniels is looking forward to the Ravens Saturday in the divisional round. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Josh McDaniels is looking forward to the Ravens Saturday in the divisional round. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With interviews with the Falcons and 49ers out of the way, Josh McDaniels said Monday that his complete focus now is on the Ravens in the AFC divisional round this Saturday. That’s a good thing because after watching the Ravens defense handle Steelers’ wideout Antonio Brown over the weekend, he knows that he’ll need his whole bag of tricks to make sure they don’t do the same thing to Rob Gronkowski.

“They seem to do a good job each week of forcing the offense to do some things that maybe the offense didn’€™t want to do,” said McDaniels on a conference call Monday. “They have the ability to try to take somebody out of the game with different things that they can do in their scheme. They also have good players that they can just cover and match up with the guys they have without doing anything special.”

Cornerback Ladarius Webb was asked to spot Brown Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger targeted the NFL’s leading receiver 14 times, connected just nine times for 117 yards. Take out the 44-yarder in the second half and that’s eight catches for 73 yards. Webb also kept Brown out of the end zone.

“They’€™ve played a lot of good players this year, and really they don’€™t do a lot of exotic things to take them out of the game,” McDaniels said. “They play good team defense. It’€™s one of the best units in the league for a reason. They’€™re well coached, as I mentioned before. They play hard. It’€™s 11 guys playing the same call and executing their assignment on every snap, which makes this a tremendous challenge for us.”

McDaniels will also being going up against old friend Dean Pees, the defensive coordinator in Baltimore who held the same job in New England for four years (2006-09).

“I don’€™t know how much of an advantage it is from one year to the next because Dean is obviously a very good coach,” McDaniels said. “This unit we’€™re playing is very talented. But they don’€™t really stay the same in terms of the things that they use or do in each game that we’€™ve played them.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dean Pees, Josh McDaniels
Bill Belichick: ‘I don’t really have any control’ over the future of Josh McDaniels in New England 12.31.14 at 10:43 am ET
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FOXBORO — The Patriots have seen this before. And so has Bill Belichick.

The Patriots earn a first-round bye and their offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels draws interest from other NFL teams looking to fill a head coaching vacancy.

On Monday, the Falcons, 49ers, Bears and Jets all said goodbye to their head coach. In San Francisco’s case, it was Jim Harbaugh leaving for Michigan. In the other three, it was a case of the team thinking they needed to go in a different direction.

On Tuesday, it was reported that McDaniels agreed to sit down with the Falcons and Niners in New England during the bye week and listen to what the representatives from Atlanta and San Francisco had to offer.

On Wednesday, Belichick was asked what it’s like to have McDaniels wanted again as hot coaching commodity.

“I don’t really have any control over it. We’ll see what happens. We’ve seen this before, multiple times, multiple coaches. We’ll go through the process,” Belichick said.

As far back as 2004, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel interviewed with the Browns for their head coaching job. That same postseason, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis interviewed with Notre Dame. Both left after the Patriots beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots
Report: Josh McDaniels agrees to head coaching interviews with Falcons, 49ers in New England 12.30.14 at 9:26 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Josh McDaniels insisted on Monday that he is “very happy” in New England and would be happy staying with the Patriots.

But since then, he’s apparently liked what he’s heard from two teams with head coaching vacancies. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Patriots offensive coordinator has agreed to interview with the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers this week in New England, while the Patriots continue their bye week preparations for the divisional playoff game on Jan. 10.

The Falcons fired Mike Smith on Monday after he finished with a 6-10 record and was blown out in the season finale at home on Sunday by the Carolina Panthers with the NFC South title on the line. Jim Harbaugh left the 49ers on Monday to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

McDaniels hasn’t held a head coaching job since 2010, when he was fired in Denver midseason after a 3-9 start. McDaniels started his coaching career 6-0 but lost 17 of his next 22 games.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots
Richard Sherman celebrates Seahawks’ win over 49ers with flurry of crazy 01.19.14 at 10:05 pm ET
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After helping his team beat the 49ers in the NFC championship game, 23-17, Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman used his postgame interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews to verbally attack San Francisco wideout Michael Crabtree.

For a complete recap of the game, click here.

Read More: NFC Championship Game, Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks
Lights out: Ravens beat Niners in electrifying finish to Super Bowl XLVII 02.03.13 at 10:48 pm ET
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Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns and Jacoby Jones returned a kick 108 yards as the Ravens held on to beat the 49ers, 34-31, in a bizarre Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday night. Flacco finished 22-of-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns in earning Super Bowl MVP honors.

Colin Kaepernick was on the verge of engineering the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history when it appeared the Ravens committed a blatant defensive holding by Jimmy Smith on Michael Crabtree in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Ravens’ 5 with just over a minute left. No call was made and the Ravens took possession at their 5 and killed off most of the clock.

The game ended when the Ravens took a safety on a punt with four seconds left, and then punted away to Ted Ginn. The 49ers specialist returned it 31 yards to midfield but was tackled as time ran out.

The game marked the first loss in six Super Bowls for the 49ers while the Ravens won for the second time in as many trips to the big game, winning Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa.

In a game that featured an electrifying halftime show by Beyonce and a 34-minute power outage minutes later in the third quarter, Kaepernick led his team from a 28-6 hole in the third quarter back to 31-29, passing for a score and running for another as San Francisco scored 23 points in just over 12 minutes. However, the Niners could not convert a two-point conversion that would have tied the game.

The Ravens jumped out to a 21-6 halftime lead thanks in large part to the sensational play of Flacco, as he threw three first half touchdowns. Ed Reed picked off Kaepernick and the Ravens gambled on fourth-and-9, but kicker Justin Tucker was tackled a yard short on a fake field goal. On the next drive, Flacco hit Jones for a 56-yard touchdown pass, putting Baltimore up 21-3.

Jacoby Jones opened the second half by taking the kick eight yards deep in the end zone and racing up the middle for the longest kickoff return in Super Bowl history.

Moments later, as San Francisco was facing third-and-13 in its own territory, the lights and power went out through most parts of the Superdome. The game was delayed 34 minutes as NFL officials and stadium administrators went into a frenzy trying to restore order and power.

After the lights came back on, the Niners were forced to punt. But on their next drive, they began a furious comeback. Crabtree caught a 31-yard TD pass. Frank Gore, who finished with 110 yards on 19 carries, ran around the right side for a 6-yard score after a Ginn punt return.

David Akers converted a field goal that cut the lead to 28-23. The Ravens added a field goal early in the fourth quarter, making it, 31-23. The Niners then scored on a Kaepernick 15-yard run. With a chance to tie the game, the Niners could not convert a two-point conversion. Reed appeared to be offsides on the corner blitz, but no call was made and the Ravens held a 31-29 lead.

After another Ravens field goal, Kaepernick got the ball back with a chance to win. The Niners drove to the Ravens’ 7. But with four chances, the Niners couldn’t punch it in.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Beyonce, nfl, San Francisco 49ers
Power outage delays Super Bowl 34 minutes in third quarter at 10:13 pm ET
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In one of the most bizarre moments in the 47-year history of America’s greatest game, a power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome suspended play of Super Bowl XLVII for 34 minutes Sunday evening.

The Ravens were just celebrating a 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones for a touchdown and appeared ready to put the game away.

With the 49ers trailing 28-6 and facing a third-and-14, stadium lights cut out on San Francisco’s side of the field. Then lights went out throughout the building.

The NFL released the following statement after play resumed: “Stadium authorities are investigating the cause of the power outage. We will have more information as it becomes available.”

Superdome spokesman Eric Eagan followed with a statement on behalf of the building: “We sincerely apologize for the incident.”

Speculation was rampant following a spectacular halftime show by Beyonce that required numerous flashing lights and finished with dramatic flare.

The 49ers captured the game’s momentum, scoring 23 points in just over 12 minutes of game time following the outage.

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Beyonce, nfl, San Francisco 49ers

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