Brown: Belichick at his best during Colts weeks


Brown: Belichick at his best during Colts weeks

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The proliferation of ex-Patriots in the media has given added insight into the hooded world of the dynastic Patriots. Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Christian Fauriaand Heath Evans all have hit their stride in front of the cameras. But no ex-Patriot shoots it straighter and is more willing to pullback the veil than Troy Brown.Which is ironic. Of all the players I mentioned, he was hands down the worst interview in the locker room when heplayed.If the locker room shut down to the mediaat 11:45 a.m., he'dcome in from the weight room at 11:44. And if he talked it was a "just the facts" recitation of platitudes. Now? What would you like to know?And Brown confirmed what one presumed. When the Colts were next on the schedule, the intensity ratcheted up significantly. "Every week we played the Colts it was intense," Brown said Tuesday night. "Those were the days Bill (Belichick) was at his best and making sure you had everything about the Colts covered - offensively, defensively, and definitely don't let them beat you on special teams, because that was the weakest part of their team. When theydid punt." Brown, who does work for us at Comcast SportsNet and also at WEEI,was speaking at Waxy O'Connors in Foxboro on Tuesday night where he helped hype CSN's "New England Football Night", which debuts Thursday at 7 p.m.When preparing for a big game, Brown said, things were ratcheted up."For us on the inside, it was always different," he explained. "For you guys on the outside it was business as usual, another work week -'Another good team. Peyton Manning's a good quarterback, one of the best we ever played. Tony Dungy's a great coach, blase, blah. Dwight Freeney can rush the passer.' For you guys it was, 'Everybody's great.' For us on the inside, there was a little added emphasis on those opponents, the Colts the Jets."We knew that. And the Patriots knew we knew that. So why not play along and tell it like it wasis? Probably because treating the Colts as special meant that the team would run the risk of treating the Bills as not special. The easiest message for Belichick to give his players was the same message week after week, season after season. If the script never changed, he didn't have to worry about their approach to a game or what they'd say to us. "Even if Bill didn't say anything about that stuff, guys kinda took it to heart," said Brown. " 'We're playing the Jets; this is where Bill used to be.' 'We're playing the Colts, this is Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. You took it a little more personal even if we didn't say it to you guys. You could feel the inensity in the locker room and meetingroom approaching game time. It was a more fun week but we probably lost a week or two from our lives from the stress."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

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. 


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. 


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."