Veteran LB Bulluck fancies the Patriots

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Veteran LB Bulluck fancies the Patriots

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Keith Bulluck wants to be Junior Seau. A longtime standout linebacker for the rock-ribbed defenses of the Titans, Bulluck is looking for a post-lockout landing spot.He named the Patriots as a desired destination. "New England is always veteran-friendly, and I know, every year, theyre in contention of winning," Bulluck told host Adam Schein on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "Like I say, I want to win, really. At this point in my career, financially, me and my family are fine. But I definitely would like to be in a position to play myself into maybe possibly being one of the top-paid linebackers in the league again. Definitely one of the top players in the league. It's unlikely the 34-year-old free agent-to-be will roll back the clock to that level. He was limited to eight games last year with the Giants as he came off an ACL surgery. But the Patriots are - as Bulluck points out - a veteran-friendly team as they've demonstrated with Seau and several other greats in the twilight of their careers. I believe the Patriots could use that kind of stabilizing influence among the linebackers. By every report, Jerod Mayo is one of the finest leaders in the NFL and the young linebackers surrounding him - Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham, primarily - are in an excellent position to learn from him. But Mayo's got his own job to do as well and having a veteran presence between the lines like Bulluck could help. The question is, whether or not Bulluck knows enough about the 3-4 principles the Patriots use to be of major assistance. He's been in 4-3 systems his entire pro career. And he's not going to be in a position to unseat Spikes at inside linebacker on first and second down and he doesn't have the ability to cover like Gary Guyton does on third downs. He would very much be a figurehead leader with a specific and narrow role.And I'm not sure, based on his desire to once again be one of the top linebackers in the league, that would work for him.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. 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. 

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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. 

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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."