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New England Patriots Links 9/20/12 - Josh McDaniels a Man With a Plan?

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<em>With Tom Brady as his QB, the expectations on Josh McDaniels are set higher than ever</em>.
With Tom Brady as his QB, the expectations on Josh McDaniels are set higher than ever.

Karen Guregian reports Josh McDaniels hasn't quite gotten off to the start many had envisioned.

A flying start for McDaniels? Let’s just say it’s been a bit rocky.

Instead of finding a comfort zone, McDaniels has created controversy with the decision to use less Welker, and more Julian Edelman. The Pats offensive coordinator, who returned after a failed head coaching stint in Denver, and a less than successful job running the Rams offense in St. Louis, has invited more questions than pats on the back.

What did he do with the NFL’s second best offense? Where did it go? Why can’t the league’s leading receiver the past five years beat out Edelman? What is he thinking? Where is all this going?

Granted, McDaniels is trying to advance this offense, and make it more diverse, so teams like the Giants can’t shut them down in big games. He’s trying to get Brandon Lloyd more involved, sometimes to a fault. He’s trying to get the most out of the toys he has, only all the experimenting he’s doing has left people perplexed, instead of confident. ...

... So the jury’s still out. We’ll see how McDaniels employs the offense, and uses his personnel in the coming weeks. We’ll see if he’s really working toward something, or is just throwing stuff at the wall in hopes something sticks.

"I think we go out there every week to play our best football and I think this is the time of year where making strides in every area of your game, whether that be individually or as a unit, I think is really important," McDaniels said Tuesday.

"It would be hard to imagine that most teams are playing at their peak at this point, and I think we’re all trying to work to get better in a lot of different areas: coaching, playing, the way we practice and prepare. I think it’s just a normal process that every team goes through each year . . . Certainly, the other day wasn’t good enough and we want to go out there and improve our offense and our team this week."

Karen Guregian notes that Deion Branch turned down "a bunch of calls" from other teams, because "it was more important here".

'Yeah, period, across the board. Whether it was here ... I always had to weigh my options," the veteran receiver said. "That’s what I’m going to do first and foremost. Weigh my options for my family and myself. But to get the call, besides some of the other calls, this was more important here."

Why did he turn down the other offers?

"It just didn’t suit me," Branch said. "Like I said, first and foremost, my family’s first. Doing things right by my family. And putting myself in the right position." "It’s always good to be here, you know what I’m saying. I love it here," he said. "This is where I want to be. It’s always a good thing."

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Danny Picard doesn't find the Ravens extra motivated by the AFC Championship loss.
  • Christopher Price reports John Harbaugh says one of the reasons the Ravens have gone no huddle is because of the Patriots.
  • Mike Reiss takes a closer look at whether Tom Brady was tipping off the defense Sunday, as the Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton was boasting.
  • Michael Felger and Andy Gresh dismiss Ray Horton's claim that Tom Brady was tipping plays: "If he were so smart, they wouldn't have almost lost the game on a shotgun draw." (1.18 min. video)
  • Tom E. Curran says McDaniels and the Patriots just need time to get in a groove.
  • Paul Kenyon reports Deion Branch is happy to be back
  • Mike Reiss reports waived WR Greg Salas will return to the Patriots practice squad.
  • Mike Rodak notes Rob Gronkowski doesn't see his role in the offense changing after this week's personnel moves.
  • Dan Duggan notes Chandler Jones will be playing against his brother Arthur, a DT for the Ravens. His other brother Jon will defend his UFC light heavyweight title on Saturday.
  • Mike Reiss breaks down the penalties for the season. Gronkowski & Spikes lead with 2 apiece.
  • Christopher Price lists the biggest villains in Patriots history.
  • Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Kellen Winslow looks to be an intriguing backup plan, with Aaron Hernandez out; Baltimore S Ed Reed and Bill Belichick share mutual respect; Injury update; Aaron Hernandez was the only player who did not participate in practice.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: The Brian Waters situation explained; Tom Brady is aware he'll be facing a daunting & talented Baltimore defense; Cardinals defensive coordinator said the Patriots showed their hand; but his assertion was wrong; Injury Report.
  • Zuri Berry gives us a midweek practice report from Gillette. (2.34 min. video)
  • Ron Borges says the Pats tried to cut Brian Waters' pay but then offered him potentially a lot more in bonuses- unguaranteed - which is 'like offering him air'. (2.50 min. video)

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