Patriots

Hail Mary convinces McDaniels to stand up Indy, stay in New England

Hail Mary convinces McDaniels to stand up Indy, stay in New England

“If anyone knows any reason why these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace . . . ”

And the Patriots spoke.

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Fifteen hours of meetings between Josh McDaniels, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft and Jonathan Kraft over the past two days have inspired McDaniels to leave the Indianapolis Colts at the altar.

McDaniels will remain Patriots offensive coordinator; Belichick will return as head coach in 2018.

The Colts, who entered into a verbal agreement with McDaniels and had begun hiring staff to surround him, are stunned and enraged.

But since the Patriots loss to Philadelphia in Super Bowl 52 on Sunday, McDaniels got greater clarity on the future plans of both Belichick and the Patriots organization.

It can now be presumed McDaniels will be given primary consideration as Belichick’s successor. That wasn’t the case previously.

The uncertainty in Indy regarding Andrew Luck’s future is a concern, but this was a decision that had more to do with the Patriots than it did the Colts.

Stability in New England (this season and the past 48 hours notwithstanding), the program in place with personnel czar and longtime friend Nick Caserio and the chance to keep his family rooted in New England were all convincers.

Prior to the end of the regular season, McDaniels tried to pinpoint the future plans of the team and Belichick but he didn’t get the level of clarity he hoped for. Now that he has that clarity, he’s decided to stay even if he gets demolished in the media for the decision.

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What prompted the Patriots to ensure McDaniels would stay? The 600-plus yards of offense the Patriots put up in the Super Bowl and 505 passing yards from Tom Brady were surely part of it. So too may have been the realization McDaniels was hoping to take well-regarded quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski and perhaps special teams coach Joe Judge as well.

That would have meant New England lost both coordinators (Matt Patricia is already in Detroit), the special teams coach and another one of their offensive brains. The brain drain would have put significant pressure on the Patriots 2018 coaching staff and Bill Belichick.

That problem is now gone. And McDaniels is staying.

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Report: James Harrison could return to Patriots

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Report: James Harrison could return to Patriots

James Harrison was a larger than life figure during his time in Pittsburgh. 

It was as if God molded him to be a member of the Steelers: massive, physical, and an absolute bruiser.

But at the end of the day he is a football player. And athletes in this sport don't particuarly like time on the bench.

Mike Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers organization were reminded of this fact in a very harsh manner.

At the end of the December, Harrison made a late season move to sign with the Patriots. It left his former teammates in Pittsburgh frustrated, and his former fans confused.

But at the end of the day he just wanted to be on the football field again. And that's exactly where Belichick put him.

Harrison had the opportunity to appear in many more situations, and had several sacks at the end of the season.

Now there is a new report from Christopher Price of the Boston Sports Journal that he could re-sign with the Patriots in 2018.

A source close to Price and Harrison said "there's a reasonable chance" that he could be on the roster next year.

He will be playing this upcoming season at age 40, and has previously stated he'd like to play one or two more seasons.

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King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

King: It was football, not family that kept McDaniels with Patriots

There have been all kinds of theories of what ultimately kept Josh McDaniels from taking the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job.

NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran offered his here and here. Ex-Pats linebacker Willie McGinest said he was told it wasn't because McDaniels was promised to eventually succeed Bill Belichick. 

Now comes Sports Illustrated's Peter King, who told NBCSports Network's "PFT Live" that you can cross off the theory that McDaniels' reversal was about not wanting to move his family to Indianapolis. 

“This had nothing to do with his family,” King said. “It was about the Patriots giving him a better option than Indianapolis.”

More here from NBCSports.com's Pro Football Talk.