Josh McDaniels

QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Belichick, Kraft comment on their meeting, NFL rule changes

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QUICK SLANTS THE PODCAST: Belichick, Kraft comment on their meeting, NFL rule changes

1:32 - Tom Curran and Phil Perry discuss the new NFL rules change on lowering the helmet to initiate contact, and how it could be more impactful than the catch rule.

4:30 - Why there could be a legitimate problem with the new NFL catch rule and how it will affect the game.

7:20 - Curran describes how Bill Belichick was against the proposed "McDaniels Rule" and how things got heated between Belichick and Giants owner John Mara on the subject.

11:06 - What to make out of Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft's comments about the tension over the past year and the meeting that took place between those two and quarterback Tom Brady.

15:30 - Will the Patriots offer Tom Brady a contract extension and would it make any sense to lower Brady's cap number?

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Could Lamar Jackson be the next Jimmy G?

Could Lamar Jackson be the next Jimmy G?

The first of a five-part series looking at quarterbacks - and possible heirs to Tom Brady as the starter - the Patriots could draft. 

Who knows how long Tom Brady can keep spinning it the way he does, can keep defying Father Time? His oft-stated desire is to play until he’s 45 although recent developments suggest perhaps he’s rethinking that. Point is, there is no succession plan here in New England. He went out the door, now the current plan in San Francisco. So will the Patriots feel the need to find a signal caller in this draft? Considering the feelings about the class of 2019, it does seem like this is a now-or-forever-hold-your-peace-moment. 

That leads us to Lamar Jackson. A more dynamic and electrifying player you will not find in the Class of 2018. Jackson took the country by storm as a sophomore, winning the Heisman Trophy. He threw for 35-hundred yards and ran for nearly 1,600 more. He was responsible for 51 touchdowns. 51! 

Last season, the Louisville flash accounted for another 45 scores while improving his completion percentage for 56 to 59 percent. That was good enough to place him third in the Heisman voting while winning his second consecutive ACC Player of the Year award. But still, the question persists: is Jackson a quarterback or is he a receiver?

Former Colts GM Bill Polian drew fire for suggesting Jackson was too short (he’s 6’3”) and too slight to play the position. But there are plenty of others that believe Jackson’s inconsistent accuracy contrasted with his incredible playmaking ability suggest his best spot is on the edge as a runner/receiver not under center. 

Considering how the Patriots are willing to adapt their offense to utilize players special skills, might they be willing to do the same with Jackson were they to take the plunge and select him in the draft. Of course, they’d have to do that very high. Grades differ but Jackson appears to be a borderline first rounder and most certainly a second-rounder. The Pats have those multiple picks in those two rounds - 31, 43rd and 63rd - so they appear to fall in Jackson’s target range.

In watching Jackson, there are times where I thought “he’s got a chance to be a star” Against Florida State, facing pressure, Jackson dropped a 35-yard throw outside the numbers. The receiver was covered. The defensive back had no chance. That ball was put in a place where only the Louisville player could catch it. 

Jackson has a live arm and a clean delivery. The strength in that wing is evident but he can also throw the ball with touch. But his inconsistencies as a thrower show up every single week and can vary from throw to throw on the same drive. Can his mechanics be cleaned up enough to make that less common? 

Jackson also has issues throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Does that sound like a quarterback who fits what the Pats want to do? Thus far, the team hasn’t been linked to Jackson in any way, shape or form but as we well know, that doesn’t mean a damn thing. I’m sure they’ve done their homework. 

Might the lure of this big play artist who wouldn’t need to be rushed with Brady still on the roster appeal to Bill Belichick? We know that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had no problem thinking outside the box, selecting Tim Tebow during his brief tenure as the head coach in Denver. McDaniels wasn’t afraid to rework the plan. Maybe with McDaniels’ growing influence in the organization, Jackson climbs their draft board. This kid is intriguing, and he's charismatic, but in the end, the erratic nature of his play would make me take a pass. Then again, I don't have the future of an organization riding on my shoulders. 

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NFL expected to change rule to allow teams to hire coaches still in playoffs

NFL expected to change rule to allow teams to hire coaches still in playoffs

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.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE