Patriots

Josh McDaniels addresses turnover on Patriots offensive coaching staff

Josh McDaniels addresses turnover on Patriots offensive coaching staff

FOXBORO – For 10 seasons, Chad O’Shea coached the Patriots wide receivers. When you sit back and consider the array of talent and personalities that passed through his meeting room in those 10 years, it’s pretty amazing.

A roll call for the hell of it? Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Lafell, Danny Amendola, Josh Gordon, Michael Floyd, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins, Keshawn Martin, Reggie Wayne, Joey Galloway, Eric Decker, Kenny Britt, Cordarelle Patterson, Chris Hogan, Torry Holt, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell, Brian Tyms, Austin Collie, Deion Branch, Chad Johnson, Brandon Tate and Sam Aiken.

Some of the biggest names never saw the field or did little when they got there. Others – many others – were undervalued or overlooked and had historic careers or had a hand in winning championships before fading quietly away.

O’Shea is gone now. He’s the offensive coordinator in Miami. Also gone is Jerry Schuplinski, a vital contributor who was assistant quarterbacks coach for the past three seasons. He’s gone to Miami in the same role on Brian Flores' staff.

The new wide receivers coach is Joe Judge, who’s been the special teams coach for the Patriots the past four seasons.

Other than Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett, the rest of the wide receiver corps – Maurice Harris, Demaryius Thomas, Dontrelle Inman, rookie first-rounder N’Keal Harry and undrafted free agents Ryan Davis and Jakobi Myers – is all new.

That’s a lot for Judge to wrangle. And for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels who addressed the turnover on the offensive coaching staff recently.

“We have a great staff now,” said McDaniels. “Joe is certainly gonna do a good job with us offensively. We’ve increased (coaching assistant) Cole (Popovich’s) responsibilities. That’s part of the deal. We have plenty of hands. Chad O’Shea was a great receivers coach. The best one that I’ve ever been around and he’s deserving of the opportunity he has now in Miami and Jerry, likewise. Jerry did a great job here and I’m sure he’ll do a great job in his role down there.”

The change, McDaniels said, isn’t daunting.

“That’s a fun thing for us,” he explained. “When you have change, you have two choices. You can sit and complain about what it’s not like or you can sit there and say, ‘Man, this is kind of cool and fresh and new.’

“It gives you another opportunity to share the foundation of our system and talk about the terminology and the genesis of where things came from that sometimes you don’t do if you’ve been together for a long time,” McDaniels said. “This has been a great opportunity to get back to that. Our group is really good and there’s a different style of energy because there’s a lot of learning going on and everybody’s got a great deal of excitement heading into this spring.”  

The Patriots have hired a fleet of bigger receivers since last season ended. When asked if that’s there new “type”, McDaniels replied, “We don’t have a type. If they’re short and can get open … it really doesn’t matter. We have guys that can go up and get the ball a little bit and we have other guys whose strength is more quickness inside.

“There’s no real prototype for us,” he continued. “Phillip’s one way, N’Keal’s another. Mo Harris is different from how (recently released) Bruce Ellington was. They’re different from Ryan Davis. We have some guys with size, we have some guys who are a little bit smaller but have a little bit better quickness. We’ll see what they can all do out here as we get through OTAs and into training camp and figure out how to use ‘em all.”

There’s a lot of figuring out to be done. All the way around.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin describes introductory FaceTimes with Tom Brady

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin describes introductory FaceTimes with Tom Brady

Tom Brady is already making a point to get to know his new teammates in Tampa Bay.

The former New England Patriots quarterback had one request after signing with the Buccaneers last week, and that was all of his teammates' phone numbers. One particular player he's already reached out to is one of his new favorite targets, Chris Godwin.

In a recent interview with Ros Gold-Onwude of The Boardroom, Godwin detailed the dynamic of his first FaceTime conversations with Brady.

Click here for complete Tom Brady coverage and download the MyTeams App for the latest news and analysis

“Really it’s literally just getting to know each other,” Godwin told Gold-Onwude. “Just early introductory things. Just trying to get a feel for who we are as people more than anything else. Like we didn’t talk ball or anything, really just about how excited we both are to play with each other.”

“For me, I’m just going to learn," he added. “You know, learn as much as I can from somebody who’s arguably the G.O.A.T., and I’m just ready to roll.”

The learning curve probably won't be all that steep for Godwin, who broke out in a big way last season for the Bucs. The 24-year-old was one of the top wide receivers in all of football, tallying 121 catches for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns.

Godwin went on to describe his initial reaction to Brady -- who's been in the league since Godwin was four years old -- becoming his new QB.

“At first it was a little weird, cause it’s like I feel like it’s someone I’ve watched my entire life, Godwin said. "Like you said, he’s my colleague now so past the initial interaction it’s like alright, cool. This is starting to feel a little more normal now.”

You can watch the full interview below:

Godwin happens to wear No. 12 for the Bucs, but recently said he'll give it up to TB12 if the six-time Super Bowl champion asks for it.

Patriots WR N'Keal Harry already seems to be embracing the underdog role

Patriots WR N'Keal Harry already seems to be embracing the underdog role

Over the course of the New England Patriots' dynasty, NFL fans learned a valuable lesson: never count the Patriots out.

But with Tom Brady leaving after 20 years to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that has quickly changed. Suddenly, the Pats are perceived as underdogs.

It isn't difficult to see why. The quarterback position now is a real area of concern, and several key contributors from 2019 have departed in free agency.

Click here for complete Tom Brady coverage and download the MyTeams App for the latest news and analysis

Pats wide receiver N'Keal Harry, however, doesn't seem worried. The 2019 first-round pick took to Twitter on Saturday with a message for the doubters.

The 22-year-old certainly isn't lacking in confidence.

If the Patriots are to exceed expectations without Brady, Harry will be counted on to be a focal point in the offense. New England's wide receiver depth chart currently consists of Harry, Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and Jakobi Meyers. There's also a strong chance the position is addressed again via the draft, which takes place next month.

The real question is who will be throwing the ball to Harry when the 2020 NFL season kicks off. Right now, 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham is the odds-on favorite to be Brady's successor.

Harry tallied 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns in seven games during his rookie campaign.