Curran: 34 lines about 17 issues


Curran: 34 lines about 17 issues

Seventeen thoughts in 34 lines . . .

Bodog is an on-line gambling site that releases odds on anything you could possibly want to wager on and a few things you probably wouldnt. Anyway, the Patriots remain steady this week at 4-to-1 to win the Super Bowl in February.

Green Bays odds got a little shorter this week theyre at 3-to-1. Easiest play on the Bodog board has got to be the over on the total number of interceptions Carson Palmer will throw (.5).

On Thursday, Tony Romo divulged his theory for why Jason Garrett went conservative at the end of Sundays game against the Patriots. He believed Garrett believed in his defense.

It hasnt been the vogue opinion the notion that Garrett didnt trust Romo has had more traction but I agree with it. If Dallas ran once then twice threw incomplete, Garrett would have been labeled a moron for stopping the clock and not forcing the Patriots to use timeouts.

The Patriots were supposed to be in the hunt for Brandon Lloyd, the wideout who ultimately was traded to St. Louis. In trying to determine the level of Patriots interest before the trade was announced, Im not sure they were even in the mix.

Hows that happen? Team executives or agents trying to drum up interest and make the perceived trade market seem hotter than it really is.

So what does that do to the perception the Patriots were in the running for Lloyd because they were giving up on Chad Ochocinco? It kinda kills it.

If you want to be a successful New England Patriot (and who wouldnt?!?!), dont get drafted by the team in the second round. Bethel Johnson, Eugene Wilson, Marquise Hill, Terrence Wheatley, Sebastian Vollmer, Darius Butler, Ron Brace, Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling are the picks since 2004.

Wilson, Vollmer, Chung and Gronkowski are the four you can say, Yeah, pretty much worth spending a pick that high on. And 4 out of 13 in the second round doesnt seem a real high yield (although all evidence is not yet in on Brace, Spikes, Cunningham, Vereen and Dowling).

Teams play dumb against the Patriots. So far this season, New Englands accepted 50 penalties for 432 yards against their opponents in six games.

The only team benefiting more from their opponents lack of discipline? The Lions theyve accepted 60 penalties for 445 yards so far.

Another interesting statistic is passes not caught on which a player was targeted. Surprisingly, Wes Welker is tied for fifth with Brandon Marshall in that category with 24.

That Welker leads the NFL with 51 catches for 785 yards - numbers that lead the No. 2 guy by 12 catches and 110 yards, respectively and had 24 more throws his way with which he could have augmented those stats is pretty amazing.

One more interesting Welkerian stat? He leads the NFL in yards after catch with 397 (Matt Forte is second with 347) and the next seven YAC leaders after Welker are all running backs.

Meanwhile, while its important to highlight the fact Welker is relatively underpaid for his production, the question of why hes steamrolling toward free agency wont be fully filled in until two things are known: One, what are the Patriots offering; two, what is Welker expecting?

The success of the Patriots and the style in which both the organization and Bill Belichick operate invites scrutiny and judgment. Of everything.

You know it wears him out, and after he alluded to that on WEEI earlier this week I tried to flesh out that story a little more by asking him about the sensationalism of media now compared to years gone by. Look, its the way of the world were all living in it, was the thrust of the answer.

Well try that one again. Enjoy the bye, bye.

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


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 "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."

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Tom Brady's daughter Vivian is a natural on skis.

The New England Patriots quarterback and apparently proud father posted a comical video of his 4-year-old daughter tearing it up on the ski hill. Vivian took on the bottom section of the run while adhering to the all-important instructions from the Super Cool Ski Instructor from the Comedy Central show, "South Park."

Brady added the audio from the "South Park" ski instructor to the video of his daughter skiing, and included a joke about "french frying" and "pizzaing" at the correct moments. 

"That’s my girl! Pizzaing when she's supposed to pizza, French frying when she's supposed to French fry... NOT having a bad time!!" Brady joked on Instagram.