By Tom E. Curran
Patriots owner Robert Kraft wanted the lawyers out of the negotiating roomduring CBA talks. He didn't get his wish. And now the lawyers are feeling Kraft's ire. Even the ones on his own team.In a detailed story that offershope for a deal between players and owners, our buddyMike Silver over at the Yahoo! Sports says that, on Wednesday, Kraft snapped at league labor attorney Bob Batterman "because he felt Batterman was speaking in legalese platitudes."Silver said that "several people familiar with the meetings" noted Kraft's agitation. Silver's piece was a good scene-setter for Friday, a day in which the two sides agreed to extend their deadline to negotiate out another 7 days. Writes Silver, "Sources on both sides of the conflict agreed on one basic premise: If enough progress is made that another short-term CBA extension perhaps a week, perhaps two is announced by Friday night, the players and owners will almost certainly be headed for a settlement that will result in a multi-year deal before the end of this month."We now know that a one-week extension has been granted and the idea of labor peace continuing is in the offing.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
When will Bill Belichick retire? The Patriots coach is 64 years old, and he's been on record saying that he won't be coaching into his 70s like former Bills head coach Marv Levy. But it sure seems like Belichick has plenty of energy to stay at the job for some time, and the results, you may have noticed, have been pretty good.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels joined WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning, and he was asked about how much longer his boss might work. Would McDaniels be surprised if Belichick coached into his 70s despite what he said on NFL Network's A Football Life documentary back in 2009?
"It wouldn't surprise me," McDaniels said. "I know Bill loves football. His drive and his passion for the game and to try to do everything we can to prepare our team to win each week, I haven't seen one change in it. It's a great privilege to coach for him. He certainly kind of sets the tone for us. I don't see any difference in that since when I first started here. I look forward to coaching for him for as long as he'll let me."
Some have speculated that McDaniels could be the next head coach of the Patriots whenever Belichick decides to hang up his whistle. The 40-year-old has been up for head coaching positions since he's returned for his second stint in New England, but he's still with the organization that gave him his first NFL job in 2001.
McDaniels, who left to be the head coach of the Broncos in 2009 and 2010, was asked if he values the offensive coordinator job with the Patriots more than a head coaching opportunity that might not be the perfect fit.
"I love where I'm at," McDaniels said. "I've said before I think we all have aspirations to grow and get better and improve and potentially move up and what have you. Who knows? Maybe that day happens, maybe it doesn't. But I know this: I'm really thankful to have the opprtunity that I have to coach the players we have here and to work underneath Bill and Robert [Kraft] and the Kraft family. It's a privilege here. I feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world. Just thankful that I have an opportunity to come here and do it each week."
The two quarterbacks on the Patriots roster are both dealing with injuries at the moment, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels says he's not sure which will be starting against the Bills on Sunday.
"I don't know that," he told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning. "I haven't seen them in a few days. Hopefully all those guys are continuing to get better. We'll see them tomorrow. Hopefully they're all ready to go. That would be the goal. That would be the hope . . . But as of right now I don't know that."
Garoppolo's shoulder injury, suffered against the Dolphins in Week 2, was significant enough to keep him out of Thursday night's win over the Texans. In his place, rookie third-rounder Jacoby Brissett got the start, but he injured his thumb during the game. He played through the injury, which Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran has reported is "minor."
Asked if receiver Julian Edelman would be the next in line if both of those players were unavailable, McDaniels explained that the Patriots may have used a variety of looks had they been in that kind of emergency situation.
"We have to have somebody ready to go," McDaniels said. "Julian's certainly been in that position before. There's always a couple other things you can do. There's a lot of schemes that are available to people if that situation were to ever come up , , , It might not have been one thing. It might've been multiple different things that we try at that point. We had more than one guy that was ready to go if that situation came up."
Bills coach Rex Ryan said on Sunday that he didn't care who was playing behind center for the Patriots, even if it was coach Bill Belichick. The Bills would be coming after him.
"I have a lot of respect for Rex," McDaniels said. "What he says is usually the truth. They'll blitz. They'll bring a lot of packages each week to try to disrupt the quarterback, whichever team he's playing . . . He always keeps you on your toes, makes it difficult."