Curran: McDaniels move can't hurt

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Curran: McDaniels move can't hurt

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.

Ravens’ Suggs submits half-hearted effort at Brady snub

Ravens’ Suggs submits half-hearted effort at Brady snub

Terrell Suggs keeps doing his best to pump air into his one-sided “feud” with Tom Brady.

Ever since Brady begged for a flag on Suggs after a benign hit back in 2009, Suggs has made it his mission to speak truth to the perceived power of Brady.

“Everyone just seems to worship the guy so much,” he once said. “Not me, though.”

So, Suggs has called basically derided Brady as a crybaby and occasionally called into question the validity of the Patriots championships.

It’s clearly all for show. When Deflategate was at its height in June of 2015, Suggs said of Brady, “The guy is a winner. He’s won with whatever kind of personnel that he’s had. So I don’t think [Deflategate] really tarnished it … Everybody needs something to write about and needs something to talk about. It’s always something. I’m leaving that alone.”

This week, Suggs smirkingly refused to use Brady’s name when discussing the Patriots leading up to Monday night’s game.

Asked about Brady earning his 201st win as an NFL starter, Suggs said, "He's pretty good. Like I said, wins are wins and numbers are numbers. Numbers don't lie. He's pretty good."

Suggs went on, avoiding Brady’s name. It’s something he’s done in the past for whatever reason. But he’s also been complimentary of the Patriots and Brady as well, saying that, when it’s done, there will be three quarterbacks in the conversation for best-ever: Montana, Unitas and Brady. 

The only time Brady’s verbally stepped out against Suggs and the Ravens is in response to their barbs. In 2010, Brady stated that the Ravens, “Talk a lot for beating us once in nine years.”

Brady also chastised Ravens coach John Harbaugh – now there’s a guy who whines! – after the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoff Game when the Patriots snookered the Ravens with intricate formations. That’s about it for return fire.

 

One-sided feud: Brady praises Suggs for playmaking, instincts

One-sided feud: Brady praises Suggs for playmaking, instincts

FOXBORO -- Terrell Suggs kept up what has been a years-long campaign to mock Tom Brady's public perception by refusing to say Brady's name this week. 

Outside of a quick, "Talk a lot for beating us once in nine years" comment back in 2010, Brady has typically let the feud be one-sided. That continued on this week when Brady said the Ravens edge defender looked as good as ever during a Westwood One radio interview.

He continued his praise of Suggs during a press conference Thursday.

"I think every year, he's had pretty major injuries, and he comes back and looks like he didn't miss a beat," Brady said. "It's his 14th year, he's been a great player for as long as he's been in the league. I think he does a lot of things really well.

"He's got all the rush moves, he actually drops into coverage, he bats down balls, he butchers the tight ends coming off the line of scrimmage. He's really a playmaker for their team. It's not just sacking the quarterback, probably like most defensive ends. He makes plays in a lot of ways. I've seen him intercept slip screens, jumping up and picking [Ben] Roethlisberger off going the other way. 

"I think he has great instincts. He definitely plays with his instincts. If he feels like the ball's going to go inside, he rips inside and tries to take it away even though that's not his assignment. I think 99 percent of the time, the ball goes inside. I think he just has great instincts for what he's doing.

"You can't ever really count on the same thing from him. I think you just try to play him straight up and see what he's going to do because I think he makes a lot of really good decisions out there and he makes a lot of plays."

Brady didn't say Suggs' name during the course of his answer, but he left no doubt that there's a level of respect there for his game. 

I think all these games are kind of the same. I just look at the opp and look at what they do. The only thing that matters is what we do this week of practice and in the game. I think you just try to put everything aside and, whether it was that or whether it was playoff game a couple years ago, whether it was the rs game a couple years ago or C games, none of those really nmatter. It's really going to be about what this team does this week and like I said, coach will try to put a lot of urgerncy on that. We understand that. We know we're facing a team that's 7-5, their at the top of their division. They have a lot of conf in what they do and wso do we. It's going to be a good, tough matchup.