Distraction? Yes. Will the benefit outweigh the distraction? We'll find out in the next few weeks. That Josh McDaniels will reportedly join the Patriots as soon as this week to serve as an offensive assistant is intriguing news with little obvious downside. Since leaving the Patriots after the 2008 season, the former Broncos head coach has only expanded his knowledge of coaching professional football despite the easy-to-target shortcomings in Denver (fired in 2009) and St. Louis (presiding over an offense that tanked in 2011).His relationship with quarterback Tom Brady was excellent, a real collaboration in which Brady had the most remarkable throwing season in NFL history in 2007. Furthermore, as offensive coordinator in St. Louis, McDaniels game-planned and called plays against the following teams this season: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Orleans, San Francisco, Green Bay and the Giants. The Rams managed just 97 points in those eight games (58 in two games) so it's not like he lit the world on fire. But McDaniels does know the personnel of each of these teams the Patriots could conceivably play in the postseason. The biggest malady the Patriots' offense has dealt with this season is slow starts. Conjecture coming: it's been such an issue that a second set of eyes on the early-game script and McDaniels viewing film of those games where the Pats came out flat could help unearth something that ends that trend. When it comes to game-planning right now, Brady is intimately involved in all of it. My hunch is that there will be no power struggle between McDaniels and current (soon-to-be-former OC) Bill O'Brien because it's a collaboration with Brady at the center of it anyway. O'Brien, who's been effusive in stating his gratitude to the Patriots, is not someone who will create any kind of rancor in getting a plan ready. It will be interesting to see where McDaniels is positioned during games - on the sidelines where O'Brien is or in the booth where he can watch personnel. My guess would be he will be in the booth. Up there, he can survey defensive personnel changes and avoid having too many voices on the sidelines in the heat of the game. With O'Brien in a spot where his attention is - like it or not - going to be diverted by his new position, having McDaniels there to make up for any brainpower O'Brien will forfeit is a boon for the Patriots. My guess? This will help far more than it hurts.
Yes, four first-round picks for Jacob Trouba is crazy.
Yes, two firsts and David Pastrnak for Kevin Shattenkirk is stupid.
And, of course, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson is ridiculous. (Remember Bruins fans: As bad as it's been, it could be worse. Peter Chiarelli could still be here.)
No one is disputing that the asking price for good, young defensemen across the NHL has gone haywire. If you're acquiring one of those players, you are likely going to lose the deal, and that's no way to run a franchise.
But here's the question for the Bruins: What's the alternative? Do the Bruins want to try and win in the Patrice Bergeron window or not?
That's what it comes down to for the B's. Bergeron will turn 31 in three weeks, and while he may have plenty of seasons left, his time as one of the best two-way players in the NHL is certainly more finite. He will likely be out of that elite status by the time anyone currently in the B's system develops into the type of No. 1 defenseman the team so desperately needs -- if there's even anyone who fits that description in the first place.
In other words, if the B's want a top-pairing defenseman anytime soon, they're going to have to pay for it. Or overpay for it. Draft picks. Players. Offer sheets. Whatever. Something unappealing is going to have to go out the door.
If there's another way, I'd like to know what it is. There's virtually nothing to choose from in the unrestricted pool. And everyone on the current depth chart is either too old, too young or too crappy.
So four first-rounders and a $7 million annual cap hit for Trouba? That's an impossible price to wrap your head around, until you consider the alternatives.
Ideally, the B's are using that Jets offer sheet threat as a leverage play, an attempt to create options in hopes the Blues lower their ask on Shattenkirk, or the Ducks lower their price on Cam Fowler. Maybe the B's have been trying to work a trade with the Jets for Trouba himself and are just bringing a hammer to the table. Lower your demands or we'll offer sheet him. Perhaps that offer sheet isn't even a realistic consideration and is nothing more than noise.
I have no idea. The only thing I know is that the B's still stink on D.
The players they have drafted the last few years may not be any good, and if they are it will be a half-decade before they're capable of playing the kind of playoff minutes necessary to contend for a Cup. The Bruins keep saying they want to contend now, which is pretty much impossible given the personnel on the blue line.
So what do they want? To wait for the kids and blow the rest of Bergeron's prime? Or give up an exorbitant price in a deal they'll very likely lose?
I'd probably lean towards the later, but there's really no right answer. It's called Bruins.
Email Felger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to Felger and Mazz daily from 2-6 p.m. The simulcast runs on CSN.
CSN Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely takes a look at five free agent big men worthy of being on the Boston Celtics’ radar this summer.
Kevin Durant’s weekend of free agent visits has come into focus on the final day of June.
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Boston Celtics will be meeting with the free agent superstar on Saturday.
The full @KDTrey5 meeting sked: OKC Thursday, GSW/Clippers Friday, Spurs/Celtics Saturday, Miami on Sunday, per source. That’s the list.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 30, 2016
After meeting with Durant on Saturday, the Celtics should have a better idea if they will need to waive Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko before Sunday's July 3 deadline. Waiving the duo would create additional salary cap space to potentially sign Durant and another near max-salaried player.