Ex-Pat on ex-Pat crime: Evans hammers Daboll


Ex-Pat on ex-Pat crime: Evans hammers Daboll

By Tom E. Curran

Heath Evans was on the Patriots for two of the seven years that Brian Daboll was on the New England coaching staff. It appears Daboll didn't wow Evans with his mental prowess during that period.
Evans,now a running back with the Saints, wasinterviewed on ESPN 760, a Miami radio station. He laceratedthe Dolphins for hiring Daboll as their offensive coordinator(we spotted the item on The Dolphins probably just got worse, Evans said in an opening salvo to remember. When he was in New England, he was never a guy that I would have considered the brains of the operation.Evans lobbed a couple of caveats - that Daboll likely learned some when he was quarterbacks coach with the Jets and had Brett Favre and Chad Pennington as his charges in 2007 and 2008, and that he probably learned some more working with Mike Holmgren this season in Cleveland when Daboll was OC - but that opening broadside is hard to overlook. Daboll was wide receivers coach for the Pats during the time he and Evans overlapped. Originally hired as a low-level coach on the recommendation of Nick Saban, Daboll has had a nice rise in the NFL. I remember asking Bill Belichick in 2001 before the Patriots went to the Super Bowl who was doing the low-level grunt work on that team and he gushed about Daboll. But the fashion in which Eric Mangini left the Patriots, reputedly taking with him any player or coach that wasn't nailed down, no doubt has marked Daboll who left for New Jersey with Mangini as an enemy of the state in Foxboro. Evans,who remains close with many Patriots despite signing with New Orleans after 2008, may have that coloring his judgment. As soon as I saw it, I second-guessed the decision, Evans said. A franchise that is really just struggling for success, why do you take an unproven commodity? I second-guess it. I dont know.Good luck to him, Evans said. He was always nice to me good dude.Yeah, right. Daboll hasn't taken a shot like that since this one delivered by Joe Thomas back in November. Coincidentally, Daboll's Browns offense ran all over the Patriots that day.

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

EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?


EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study


Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."