Shortened offseason forces Patriots to change


Shortened offseason forces Patriots to change

By Danny Picard Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- With a shortened offseason, the Patriots began training camp on Thursday morning under a brand new CBA.

We have people that are in different stages of practice,said Belichick. Some are practicing. Some can do some things and cant doother things. Other people wont be able to participate very extensively, atthis time. We have players in all different categories . . . We havent seenthese players in months, so that status of what they can and cant do, werestill trying to determine that, and in a number of cases, I dont even know ifI can accurately tell you what our players can or cant do.

Well know more this afternoon than we did this morning. Weknew more this morning than we did last night. Its still ongoing.

As uncertain as he seemed to be, Belichick was at leastpleased with the fact that, after team meetings on Wednesday, everyone knowswhat theyll be getting into in the first day of camp.

We havent even gotten in a huddle yet, said Belichick.So well take it day by day and see how it goes.

At least were assembled, Belichick later added. Wehavent done anything yet, but were assembled, and today well be the firstday that well be able to walk into a huddle, call a play and go out and se ifwe can run it.

With the new CBA, practice rules during training camp havebeen tweaked, but Belichick isnt worried about young players growth beingstunted.

Every team in the leagues in the same situation, so theopportunities that our players have, are the same opportunities that every otherplayer in this situation has, said Belichick. Its different from last year.Its different from the year before. Theres nothing we can do about that.

Right now, were focused on all of our players: young, old,first year second year, rookies, tenth year. Going forward, having a good camp,getting ready for the season.

As for the actual practice rules themselves, Belichick saidthat everyone has the same goals, so theyll adjust as the rules continue to bemodified.

The player personnel rules, the practice rules, thecontract rules, those have even changed hourly over the last few days, saidBelichick. Its been an ongoing process. Whatever they are, then well adjustto.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

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."