Tuesday Daily Rundown 9/27: New England Patriots News and Notes
Here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s top stories on this Tuesday:
McDaniels On the Way Out After this Season? – After last Thursday’s win, Bill Belichick gave plenty of credit to his assistants for the job they’ve done during Brady’s absence from the team, which on the offensive side of the football goes to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
He’s done a terrific job in putting together some pretty terrific game plans in recent seasons, including several that became some of the most memorable during the team’s 2014/15 postseason as the team won their first championship in a decade. The team was ranked 4th in points per game that year and actually moved up one spot in 2015 to #3. This season, he’s done a pretty remarkable job in what we’ve seen over the first few weeks of this year, bringing the best out of both quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett during their 3-0 start.
He’s been one of the more talked about coaches over the past couple of seasons as a potential candidate for another head-coaching opportunity, and each time he’s opted to remain in New England. Mike Reiss of ESPN has actually suggested on repeated occasions that McDaniels could also potentially be the likely successor to Belichick when the head coach finally decides to call it a career.
However, a report by Jason La Confora of CBSSports.com on Sunday suggested that McDaniels may be ready to move on, and it could happen as soon as after this season.
“McDaniels will pursue head-coaching opportunities in 2017, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, and is virtually certain to be moving on from New England after this season,” Jason La Confora of CBSSports.com reported Sunday. “After years of hedging his bets and giving strong indications he was most likely to stay with Bill Belichick, McDaniels is prepared to move on if the right opportunity presents itself.”
Should he decide to go elsewhere, he definitely has plenty of reasons to feel pretty confident about his ability to develop a quarterback and build a team given what he’s been able to accomplish here through three games. As far as potentially taking over the reigns here, Bill Belichick seems like he’s really enjoying himself and looks like he’s not planning on walking away anytime soon.
As a result, that will be something to keep an eye on should McDaniels opt to move on after this season. But after what he’s been able to accomplish, it won’t be any surprise if he gets plenty of offers to take over for multiple embattled teams at the end of this season.
Despite the loss, former Patriots DT Wilfork has won over the hearts of Texans fans
Wilfork Felt the Love on Thursday Night – One of the things that fans missed last Thursday night when Vince Wilfork and the Houston Texans visited Gillette Stadium, was a touching tribute the Patriots put together for the former defensive lineman that was played on the video boards.
That gesture didn’t air on television, so anyone who wasn’t in Foxboro that night didn’t get a chance to see it. But the team aired a highlight video with the song, “In the Air Tonight” playing in the background of his time in New England, which definitely moved the former Patriot.
“I had 11 great years here,” said Wilfork, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “The fans, my teammates, the coaches, it was awesome and I love my memories here. It just goes to show the mutual respect they have for me. I feel the same way towards them. I love them. This was home for 11 years. They drafted me. And for me to come back and show the respect they did, it shows what kind of organization they are.”
It was a great night for the Patriots, who went out and couldn’t do anything wrong when they lit up Houston during an impressive 27-0 victory, ending what had been a promising 2-0 start for the Texans.
The next morning in Houston, the tenor of the conversation on local sports radio was that of frustration, with fans calling in pointing out that Wilfork was one of the few players who came ready to play on a night where the rest of his team didn’t. So it’s no surprise he’s won over the fans of his new team much in the same way he did when he was here.
Unfortunately for Wilfork, he left Gillette on the wrong end of a loss but he’s still a winner in the eyes of both fans here and out there and that shows you just the terrific type of person and player that he is.
LeGarrette Blount is off to a fast start in 2016.
Blount Is the NFL’s Leading Rusher – So far through three games LeGarrette Blount finds himself at the top of the leaderboard as the NFL’s top running back, leading the league in rushing yards with 298 on 75 carries. He’s tied with two other players with an NFL-best four touchdowns, with Carlos Hyde (San Francisco) and Melvin Gordon (San Diego) both joining Blount in that category.
Blount has scored a touchdown in all three games and has rushed for over 100-yards in each of the last two, rushing for 105-yards last week against Houston along with 123-yards in the team’s victory over Miami.
If Blount was to maintain this pace he would rush for nearly 1600 yards, well above his career-high number of 1007 that he rushed for in his first season with the Buccaneers back in 2010. Those are high expectations for a player who is 29 and coming off of a significant injury, and should Dion Lewis return and be ready to contribute a little over a month from now, his carries will likely dip.
But for now the 8-year veteran is off to a great start and looks poised for a big season, which is certainly good news for whoever is under center this Sunday and for next week when Tom Brady returns.
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown