Everyone has their disagreements. However, not everyone is Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft.
An ESPN story by Seth Wickersham features interviews with New England Patriots players, staffers, and executives that reveals the power struggle at the top of the organization and it reads like something out of a soap opera. Are the Patriots, the NFL’s gold standard of excellence, at the end of days with the Brady-Belichick era? Would Belichick consider moving on? It’s hard to imagine it being so, but every great dynasty falls.
If Brett Favre’s career can end while wearing the purple and gold of the Vikings, anything is possible.
- I suppose GM Ryan Pace could get a better feel for the situation in New England when he travels out east to meet with Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, who we profiled as a Bears head coach candidate earlier today. Speaking of Bears coaching candidates, over at the Chicago Tribune, Colleen Kane explains why Vikings OC Pat Shurmur is a popular one this offseason. Shurmur interviewed with the Bears this morning as part of a busy week of meetings during Minnesota’s bye. Earlier, we discussed Shurmur’s candidacy for the Bears vacancy and it’s hard to find too many weaknesses. Of course, that’s why he’s at the top of many coaching lists.
- Chris Emma of CBS Chicago writes that the Bears are doing a smart thing by speaking with Vikings DC George Edwards for their opening, which makes sense seeing how some of the young defensive standouts have grown under Edwards tutelage. However, if Edwards was to take over as the Bears’ next head coach, it could lead to the Bears ditching a 3-4 base for a traditional 4-3 front. Just something to keep in mind.
- No matter if it’s a three-man front or four men on the line, Oklahoma left tackle Orlando Brown is going to maul you:
Orlando Brown has as much God given ability as any tackle prospect I’ve seen. Uncanny ability to change direction & power, especially upper body. If he can learn to bend he has a chance to be an elite NFL tackle. pic.twitter.com/ICLA2YmpMt
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) January 5, 2018
- We enjoyed the college football bowl games on New Year’s Day, but were disappointed in the Sooners going into their shell during crunch time, because it robed us of watching one of the top tackle prospects perform on the game’s biggest stage. Brown has a first-round grade and the Bears could use help along the offensive line. We’ll have more on this prospect as the offseason goes on.
- It’s not much to brag about, but it’s something: The Bears had three players receive votes for the Associated Press’ All-Pro team. No, the votes weren’t enough to garner All-Pro status, but it’s nice to see the national panel of 50 NFL media members recognize the stellar efforts of guard Josh Sitton (2 votes), cornerback Kyle Fuller (2 votes), and punt returner Tarik Cohen (1 vote) in an otherwise down year.
- Players with All-Pro potential teamed with a new coach means things are finally turning around for the Bears, right? Not quite. Dan Cahill of the Chicago Sun-Times has the oddsmakers’ numbers for the team’s 2018 season and they’re not for the weak. One sports book has the Bears’ 2018 over-under at six wins, which is the lowest among the six teams with an open coaching spot. Last year, most oddsmakers set the over/under on Bears wins at 5.5, so, yeah, not great. As always, beware of the hook because it always gets you.
- Preseason predictions can often be a waste of time, but ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson pretty much nailed the Bears coming into the season. And if you had the “UNDER” 5.5 wins in Vegas, you probably had to spend $130 to win $100. But at least you won something in a season where the Bears lost 11 games. That counts for something, right?
- We’ll start to see reports like this as these coach interviews get rolling:
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) January 5, 2018
- Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin is expected to interview with the Bengals for the same position. Austin has been a popular interview candidate for teams looking for head coaching positions in recent years, having spoken with nearly 10 teams over the last three seasons. It seems as if Austin has taken a back seat in this round of interviews, as only the Lions have interviewed him for their head coach opening to replace Jim Caldwell.
- A somewhat significant development from the land of cheese as ESPN’s Jim Trotter reports former Green Bay Packers executive Reggie McKenzie has turned down an interview to become the team’s general manager. Even in the wake of Jon Gruden’s major payday, McKenzie – who is widely regarded as one of the best player personnel men in the league – is staying put.
- And in the savage move of the day, the Minnesota Vikings have DENIED permission for the Packers to speak with Assistant GM George Paton for their open position. I hope they did the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag as they officially declined the request.
- We learned how much Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers loved Brian Urlacher, but was the feeling mutual? Allow Urlacher to explain why an all-time Bears legend’s favorite player is a Packers quarterback:
- ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports the NFL’s television ratings were down by nearly 10 percent during the regular season, with viewership down by 1.6 million people on average. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a small dent considering 14.9 million people are still watching the average NFL game. So even when you think the NFL’s ratings are taking a hit, the league remains quite popular.
- All’s well that ends well – just ask Robbie Gould after winning the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Month after connecting on all 18 of his field goal attempts in December:
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) January 4, 2018