Bergeron ready to lead the way with consistency

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Bergeron ready to lead the way with consistency

It was a wholly different situation for Patrice Bergeron in Switzerland.
The Quebec native was near the Italian border playing for HC Lugano, and didnt speak the native tongue of the area. He also played right wing for the duration of his three-month stint in the Swiss League before playing a few games at his more familiar center spot during the Spengler Tournament in Davos.
Bergeron added another medal to his impressive trophy case by winning a Spengler Cup for Team Canada something to go with his Stanley Cup championship, Olympic gold medal, World Junior Championship gold medal, and World Championship Gold in a laundry list of accomplishments that simply blare out winner.
Now the 27-year-old alternate captain is simply happy to be back in Boston after posting 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 21 games for Lugano while waiting out the 113-day NHL lockout.
I feel pretty good. I kept busy during the lockout. Obviously Ive got to get back used to the small ice, but its great to be back with the guys, said Bergeron. Im excited. You never know until you play your first game, but the tempo of the game was very fast. I also got to play in the Spengler Cup, and the competition in that was very high.
Im just looking forward to getting started now.
While Bergeron was playing more of an offensive role at the wing in Switzerland than his two-way responsibilities down the middle in Boston, the pivot isnt worried about jumping back into his defensive and faceoff duties. On Thursday he was skating with Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin during battle drills in tight areas around the net, and it looked like little time had passed for one of Bostons well-entrenched forward lines.
That speaks to the advantage Bergeron and the Bruins may have with so many players returning with great familiarity toward each other, and the same coaching staff preaching the exact same systems.
Consistency is going to be the main key to have success in a 48-game season, said Bergeron. You need to perform right away and keep it up throughout the whole time. Its going to be a grind, for sure, but its also going to be fun for the players and for the fans.
If consistency is needed for success during this abbreviated NHL season, the Bruins could do a lot worse than looking at steady No. 37 to lead the way.

Chris Sale and David Price discuss golfing and video gaming together

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Chris Sale and David Price discuss golfing and video gaming together

Trenni Kusnierek sits down for a couple of interviews at Spring Training in Fort Myers, FL. 

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First up, President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski talks about "winning the winter", and filling the leadership void left by David Ortiz.

Also, Dombrowski's two biggest acquisitions during his tenure with Boston , Chris Sale and David Price, discuss expectations for the rotation, and getting to know each other off the field.

Saban knows he has 'great teacher of the game' in new OC Daboll

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Saban knows he has 'great teacher of the game' in new OC Daboll

After 17 years in the NFL, after five Super Bowl titles, after time spent as a defensive assistant, receivers coach, tight ends coach and offensive coordinator, after working with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and under one Hall of Fame head coach, Brian Daboll is going back to school. 

It makes sense that the new Alabama offensive coordinator chose to make the leap from the pro game to Tuscaloosa. In New England he was the offensive coordinator in waiting, it seemed, but Josh McDaniels still hasn't jumped at a head coaching gig and it's uncertain when he will.

With the Crimson Tide, Daboll will get a raise -- he'll easily double his Patriots salary, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss -- and a chance to call the plays for one of the premier programs in college football. He'll also remain in contention for NFL jobs down the line if he wants to work his way back; 'Bama's last offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, just jumped to the Falcons to replace Kyle Shanahan as their offensive coordinator. 

"We are certainly happy to add a coach the caliber of Brian Daboll to our staff," Nick Saban told RollTide.com. "I have known Brian since he worked for us as a GA at Michigan State and he has a fantastic reputation in the coaching profession. He brings a tremendous work ethic to the job and has a wealth of football knowledge. Brian is a great teacher of the game, and someone who can relate well to our players. We are excited to welcome Brian, his wife Beth and their family to Tuscaloosa."

In the last year alone, Daboll's resume got a nice bump as his teaching ability was highlighted throughout the course of New England's run to another Super Bowl. He helped Martellus Bennett grasp a complicated offensive system to the point where it was Bennett who was the target of Tom Brady's throws twice in overtime of the Super Bowl when the team was trying to punch one into the end zone. Bennett finished the season with 55 catches for 701 yards and seven scores.

Daboll was responsible for getting Matt Lengel up to speed late in the season with Rob Gronkowski out for the year and Bennett dealing with myriad injuries. Lengel, from Eastern Kentucky by way of Northeastern, worked with Daboll one-on-one at times in practice and made appearances in six regular-season games after having spent the majority of his first two pro seasons on the Bengals practice squad.

Daboll even deserves some recognition for the season that fullback James Develin put together, perhaps the best of his career to this point, as Develin met with the tight ends on a daily basis. When Gronkowski went out, Develin needed to be ready to take on more tight end responsibilities, and Daboll ran the crash course. 

At Alabama, Daboll will work with a slightly different population. The players will be younger. They won't have the base of knowledge his pro pupils did. And he'll be working more closely with a new position as he takes on the responsibilities of quarterbacks coach. 

"I am honored to have the chance to return to the college game and work for Coach Saban at Alabama," Daboll said in a statement. "He basically gave me my start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in the late 1990s and has always been a very important influence on my coaching career. It is a tremendous opportunity to work at an institution such as Alabama with its rich tradition and history of sustained success, and I'm very excited to get started."