Belichick: Bailey can match up with anybody

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Belichick: Bailey can match up with anybody

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick doesn't like to rank players. He's said that many times before.

But with regards to the best all-around cornerbacks in the NFL, the Patriots coach -- even if he had to rank them -- wouldn't know where to start after Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Champ Bailey.

"He's, to me, one of the few corners in the league that really can match up against anybody," said Belichick on Friday. "He matches up against the Andre Johnson's of the world, the big, strong, physical, fast guys. And then he'll match up against quick, real good route-running quick receivers. It doesn't really make any difference."

The Patriots have many powerful weapons on offense. And if you were trying to guess which one of those weapons Bailey will be covering on Sunday at Gillette Stadium, then good luck. At least, Belichick believes he could be matched up with anyone, even New England's tight ends.

"You can watch him match up against whoever they want to put him on," said Belichick. "Whether it's Mike Wallace, or whether it's Calvin Johnson. Through the years, I'm not just talking about this year. And at times, he's been on tight ends, like when he would be on Tony Gonzalez back in the day, things like that. So, I think he's really capable of being physical, standing in there, and banging with the big guys. He's got enough quickness and length with the little guys, to match their quickness and give them as problem and stay with them. Or if he gets his hands on them and jams them, he can destroy the route right off the bat. He's a very instinctive player, so he has a good sense of what the guy's trying to do, and what his tendencies are, and things like that. So he's on a lot of routes, just because he's experienced and he's smart.

"I'd say there aren't too many corners in the league; it's hard to think of who the next one would be that, like him, could match up as well against any type of receiver," added Belichick. "Some guys do well against some type of players and have a little trouble with another type of guy. It looks to me like he does a pretty good job against everybody."

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability. 
 

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

McDaniels: 'Best for my family and myself' to remain with Patriots

Josh McDaniels will be staying put in New England, he said on Monday, because that's what's best for him and his family at this point in time. 

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The Patriots offensive coordinator was a front-runner for the open head-coaching job in San Francisco but has removed his name from consideration.

"I was really impressed with [Niners owner and CEO] Jed York and [Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Football Operations] Praag [Marathe] and [Director of Football Administration and Analytics] Brian [Hampton] and the people that came from the 49ers organization. They did a great job with their presentation. Again, humbled to be included in that process.

"At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

Next season will be McDaniels' sixth full season back with the Patriots since returning during the playoffs of the 2011 season.

"I've always said how grateful I am to have this opportunity to work here with Mr. Kraft and his family, and coach under Bill with a lot of great guys on our staff, and to have the privilege to get to work with the players that we work with each day," McDaniels said. "It's a great opportunity. I'm very thankful to be here, and very much looking forward to this week against Pittsburgh."