If O'Brien goes to Penn State, who replaces him?


If O'Brien goes to Penn State, who replaces him?

FOXBORO - With reports swirling that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is in line for the head coaching job at Penn State, the question in New England becomes who would be in line to replace him.
O'Brien's work in New England has been somewhat underrated. Succeeding Josh McDaniels in 2009, he had a bit of a rocky start (remember the giant signs he used to signal in plays early that year?) and '09 was not a banner season.
But in 2010, O'Brien presided over an offense that transformed on the fly after Randy Moss was jettisoned. With an untested backfield combo of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead taking over when veterans Fred Taylor and Kevin Faulk went down, the Patriots' running game flourished. O'Brien also helped enmesh rookie tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in the offense and remade the team from one that challenged vertically to one that was potent in exposing mismatches.
Aside from weekly slow starts that have been an irritation, O'Brien's offense with Tom Brady at the controls has continued to be remarkably productive.
Here are three possible successors if O'Brien goes to Penn State.
CHAD O'SHEAProbably the most likely candidate since the Patriots usually promote from within. He's the team's wide receivers coach and has been in that role since 2009. He came to the Patriots in 2008 after working with the Chiefs and Vikings from 2003 through 2008. A college quarterback at Marshall and the University of Houston, the 39-year-old O'Shea also coached special teams. That kind of well-rounded offensive experience is a huge benefit to Belichick. He hasn't been an offensive play-caller, however. That may mean Bill Belichick will go without a titled OC in 2012 if O'Shea is given the responsibilities.
JOSH McDANIELSHe's the OC in St. Louis right now but Steve Spagnuolo and his staff are on the ropes. Obviously, if the staff goes, McDaniels is out of a job and looking. He could be seen as head coaching material elsewhere - Kansas City if Romeo Crennel doesn't go from interim to full-time head coach? - but he'll likely always have a home here.
JEFF DAVIDSONCurrently the offensive line coach with the Vikings, Davidson was in New England from 1997 through 2004 whereupon he went to Cleveland as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach and then to Carolina from 2007 through 2010 as the offensive coordinator.

Update: Three-way Cavs, Nuggets, Pacers deal for George 'very unlikely'

Update: Three-way Cavs, Nuggets, Pacers deal for George 'very unlikely'

We knew back on the night of the draft that as the Cavaliers desperately looked for a way to pry Paul George out of Indiana, they started involving third teams in the talks (because Indy had no interest in Kevin Love for Paul George straight up, not should they). Phoenix was involved, but that fizzled. So did talks involving Denver.

But those latter ones didn’t die the night of the draft, according to reports that came out over the weekend. Denver, Cleveland, and Indiana were still talking about a three-team deal that would land Love in Denver and George in Cleveland. The challenge for Cleveland was finding the combination of young players and draft picks that Indiana wants in a deal — Indy is rumored to want a lottery pick (preferably high lottery) and a young player or players.

Now that Denver three-team is “very unlikely” to happen, according to Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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NFL's Top 10 list revealed Monday night: Where does Tom Brady wind up?

NFL's Top 10 list revealed Monday night: Where does Tom Brady wind up?

NFL players vote every year on which players should make up the list of the best their game has to offer, but it's an imperfect system. And that's probably putting it lightly. 

The NFL Network will reveal the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night at 8 p.m. It will be an order that has been chosen by some players, not all. Of those who took part, some hastily made their way through a handful of names at the end of last season handing over their choices. 

Yet it's the list the league ends up with, for better or for worse, prompting responses like JJ Watt's when he found out he was No. 35 this year after playing in three games last season. 

On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."

This year, several Patriots players from 2016 made the cut: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99). 

Tom Brady will be the last of Bill Belichick's players to be named. He's lumped into a Top 10 that will include Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Von Miller and Khalil Mack.

Here's what we think the list should look like when the curtain falls on the finale of this flawed endeavor:

10. Elliott
9. Beckham
8. Bell
7. Brown
6. Ryan
5. Jones
4. Miller
3. Mack
2. Rodgers
1. Brady