NFL rules prevented the Colts from hiring Josh McDaniels while the Patriots were still in the playoffs last season. Given the way things played out with McDaniels, who pulled back and opted to remain in New England as offensive coordinator, those rules appear set to change.
According to Judy Battista of NFL Media, the league is expected to change the rule that requires hiring teams to sit on their hands while their No. 1 head-coaching options are still participating in the postseason. Battista added that the rule change has been proposed in the past, and the McDaniels situation could be what finally gets the change the support it needs.
Allowing assistant coaches to be hired while their teams are still vying for a Super Bowl could lead to some very loud second-guessing from fanbases who want their coaching staffs to be all-in on a championship run. If, for instance, a defensive coordinator gets hired to be a head coach and then his defense gets blown away in the Divisional Round the following week, that would qualify as bad optics.
But, as Indy could attest, if the rule change can eliminate the waiting game that briefly derailed the Colts offseason, then and it's understandable why owners would support it. No one wants to be left at the altar.
Bill Belichick is a teacher. His father was a teacher. His mother was a teacher. He is very much their son in that regard.
The glimpses into Belichick's essence aren't as rare as you might think, but they still generate an inordinate amount of interest because he's arguably the best to ever execute the kind of teaching he's made his life's work.
Every time he takes several minutes to answer a conference call or press conference question thoughtfully, the hundreds of words found in the text of the transcribed answer typically create a stir on Twitter. NFL Films productions that show Belichick operating behind the scenes are devoured. Exclusive interviews, where he shares his insight on individual games and matchups, NFL Films productions that show Belichick operating behind the scenes are devoured. Exclusive interviews, where he shares his insight on individual games and matchups, make every installment of the ‘Do Your Job’ series a must-watch.
Clips of Belichick on the practice field aren't necessarily hard to find, there just aren't many of them considering how many practices he's run over the course of his decades-long career. But thanks to more lax media policies at the college programs he visits for pro days, video of his on-the-field work pops up on a regular basis this time of year. They are mini-clinics dotting the internet.
This is Belichick in his element. Even in the middle of a random university campus. Even with scouts, coaches and front-office people from around the league watching his every move. Whether he's coaching players one-on-one or three or four at a time, Belichick is imparting his wisdom on eager close-to-blank slates. All the while he's trying to evaluate how they're absorbing what he's giving them. Do they pay attention? How do they process information? Are they error-repeaters?
It's a fascinating give-and-take between the 60-something coach trying to build a roster and the 20-something players trying to make one, some of whom hadn't yet hit kindergarten when Belichick won his first ring in New England. And he seems to enjoy it.
Here's a quick look at some of what Belichick has been up to the last few days at Georgia, South Carolina and NC State.
Linebacker Marquis Flowers is headed back to the Patriots on a one-year deal worth up to $2.55 million, according to his agent, Sean Stellato.
Flowers, 26, a sixth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, was acquired by the Patriots near the end of training camp last year for a seventh-round pick.
More to come...