NFL Rumors: Patriots Coordinators Linked To These Head Coaching Vacancies

Unsurprisingly, NFL teams want in on a piece of the New England Patriots’ magic.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and linebackers coach Brian Flores reportedly have been requested to interview for numerous head-coaching openings.
McDaniels has been linked to the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday.

Bengals requested an HC interview with Patriots' OC Josh McDaniels, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018

Browns and Packers have requested permission to interview Patriots' DC Brian Flores for head coach, per league source.
Packers also requested permission to interview Patriots' OC Josh McDaniels for HC.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018

Flores has been linked to the Packers, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns, according to Schefter.

Miami Dolphins requested an HC interview with Patriots' DC Brian Flores, per source.

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— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018

Broncos just requested permission to interview Patriots’ defensive coordinator Brian Flores for their HC job, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018

Flores also could gain interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

More from @gmfb: Why #Patriots LBs coach Brian Flores could have four requests quickly (watch the #Bucs) and has decisions to make this week. Also, notes on Josh McDaniels and Mike Munchak, who I’m told would consider the #Broncos job after backing out on #Cardinals last year. pic.twitter.com/3LmgDwDqG7
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 31, 2018

McDaniels was the Denver Broncos’ head coach from 2009 to 2010 and spent a year as the St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator. Otherwise, he’s been in the Patriots’ organization from 2001 to 2008 and 2012 to 2018.
Flores is a first-year play-caller. He’s been in the Patriots’ organization in various roles since 2004.
Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was hired as the Detriot Lions’ head coach last offseason. Prior to Patricia, the last Patriots coordinator to be pried away was former offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, who was hired as head coach of the Houston Texans in 2012 and remains in that position.

Here’s Latest Bruins Injury, Lineup News Ahead Of Winter Classic

It’s now a bit clearer who will — and won’t — be on the Notre Dame Stadium ice Tuesday for the Bruins.
Boston is set to take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic. With some players’ statuss up in the air over the past few days, B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy shed some light on who will be dressing for game.
Top-line winger Brad Marchand (upper-body injury) “looks good to go,” while Charlie McAvoy (lower-body) will be out. The hope, however, is that McAvoy will be ready to play in Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames.
Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask — who played well in Saturday’s comeback win over the Buffalo Sabres — has been tabbed as the starter for the game. Although this is not new information, David Backes also will be out for the Winter Classic as he serves a three-game suspension.
Here’s a look at the lines and defensive pairings from Monday’s practice. Since there won’t be a morning skate Tuesday, this likely is how the Bruins will line up against the Blackhawks barring an unforeseen change.

#NHLBruins practice lines:

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Marchand – Bergeron – PastrnakDeBrusk – Krejci – JFKHeinen – Kuraly – WagnerNordstrom – Cave – Acciari/DonatoBackes
Chara – CarloKrug – MooreGrzelcyk – MillerKampfer
RaskHalak
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 31, 2018

This will be the Bruins’ third Winter Classic. They’re 1-1-0 on New Year’s Day, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime at Fenway Park in 2010, then getting dusted by the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in 2016.

Driver Changes, Wienermobiles And Regression: Recapping Roush Fenway’s Busy 2018

For better or for worse, Roush Fenway Racing had a busy 2018.
Following a resurgent 2017 season that saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earn his first two victories and Trevor Bayne log six top-10 finishes, expectations were high for the No. 17 and No. 6 teams entering the 2018 campaign. However, things didn’t go quite as planned for RFR in what was one of team’s more disappointing season’s in recent memory.
But that doesn’t mean 2018 wasn’t a compelling year for Roush Fenway. With 2019 just around the corner, we decided to look back at some of the highs and lows of an interesting season for one of NASCAR’s most storied outfits.
PERFORMANCE (OR LACK THEREOF)
Let’s be honest: Roush Fenway really doesn’t have the equipment to compete with some of NASCAR’s elite teams on a weekly basis. But as we saw in 2017, all you need is teamwork, preparation, good drivers and a little bit of luck to find success on the track.
Yet for one reason or another, the results simply weren’t there in 2018.
Stenhouse was just OK this season, finishing with five top-10s, including three top-fives. But the 31-year-old finished with zero wins in 2018, a disappointing follow up to his breakout 2017.

As for Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner endured his most trying season since becoming a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver.
The 27-year-old competed in just 21 of a possible 36 races, finishing with zero top-10 finishes. His time inside the No. 6 Ford drastically reduced after Matt Kenseth returned to Roush in late April.
Bayne currently is a free agent.
BACK TO WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
Kenseth’s return to RFR was one of the feel-good stories of the NASCAR season.
A 39-time winner in Cup, Kenseth began his career with Roush in the late 1990s and became one of the most accomplished drivers in team history, including winning the 2003 Winston Cup championship. So, when Kenseth — who some expected to retire after last season — announced he was returning to Roush, fans understandably were excited.
The Wisconsin native ultimately drove the No. 6 in 15 races, finishing with just two top-10s.

Kenseth, 46, currently is a free agent.
But while he has no plans of returning to NASCAR anytime soon, and retirement seems like a real option, Kenseth has made himself available to Roush Fenway should it find itself in need.

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DARLINGTON STANDOUTS
The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is NASCAR’s annual celebration of stock car racing’s rich history and culture. With a majority of drivers featuring unique and/or throwback paint schemes, the Southern 500 is one of the most anticipated events on the NASCAR calendar.
And while this year’s Southern 500 saw no shortage of excellent paint schemes, Roush Fenway arguably sent the best to South Carolina.
Kensth partnered with Oscar Mayer to run a wiener-themed Ford, while Stenhouse honored longtime Roush driver Chad Little by sporting an eye-popping John Deere scheme.

BREAKING: Get a look at @StenhouseJr’s @JohnDeere throwback scheme for @TooToughToTame! pic.twitter.com/TMFKr9Pqi0
— Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) August 8, 2018

It looks like @mattkenseth just got here! pic.twitter.com/VVhrRvB8P5
— Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) August 21, 2018

While a Darlington victory wasn’t in the cards in September, Roush Fenway nevertheless had a strong showing.
Kenseth finished sixth and spent much of the race near the front, while Stenhouse came in 17th.
ROCKET MAN LANDS WITH ROUSH
The No. 6 Ford will have a new full-time driver in 2019.
Ryan Newman announced he was joining RFR in late September. The former Richard Childress Racing driver brings a wealth of experience to Roush Fenway, including 18 Cup wins and a reputation for being one of the sport’s toughest drivers. Joining the 41-year-old on the No. 6 team will be one of the most qualified crew chiefs in NASCAR.

Newman finished with nine top-10s in 2018, although he failed to reach victory lane.
The Indiana native hasn’t missed a race since becoming a full-time Cup driver in 2002.

Celtics Vs. Spurs Live Stream: Watch NBA Game Online

The Boston Celtics are hoping to kick off their New Year’s Eve celebrations with a win.
After an impressive comeback victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, the C’s now will be tasked with a Lone Star State tilt against the San Antonio Spurs.
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. At 20-17, the Spurs sit in eighth in the Western Conference, while the 21-14 Celtics own the fifth spot in the East.

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Here’s how you can watch Celtics vs. Spurs online:
When: Monday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Boston

People’s United Bank Goal Of The Month: Pick Best Bruins Goal From December

It was an up-and-down month of December for the Boston Bruins.
The B’s battled injuries throughout the month en route to a 7-7-0 record in December. Boston will open January with a showdown against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium.
As exciting as a number of December games were, Bruins fans now have even more to be excited about because NESN and People’s United Bank are partnering up for the “People’s United Bank Goal of the Month”sweepstakes.
Below are three of the Bruins’ top goals from the past month. Choose the one you think is the best of the bunch and enter to win a personal VIP tour of the NESN studio and watch the hockey pre-game show live!
Here are this month’s nominees:

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Goal 1: Torey Krug’s OT Winner Vs. Senators
The Black and Gold were locked in a battle with the Sens at Canadian Tire Centre, but Krug made sure the B’s went home with a win in overtime. The defenseman took a cross-crease pass from David Krejci and smoked a shot past Mike McKenna to give Boston a 2-1 win.
Goal 2: Sean Kuraly’s OT Tally Vs. Sabres
Boston finished December on a high note thanks to Kuraly. At 3:44 in the overtime period against the Sabres, the center ripped a shot from the left circle that led to a big rebound. He followed his shot and put the rebound home to give the B’s a 3-2 win.
Goal 3: Patrice Bergeron Scores In Return From Injury
Bergeron missed 16 games with a rib injury, but the veteran center returned to the lineup against the Nashville Predators and scored twice in Boston’s 5-2 win. At 15:10 in the first period, Bergeron took a pass from Charlie McAvoy, shifted left and ripped a shot under the bar to give the B’s an early 1-0 lead.
First, make sure you read and agree to the official rules (https://nesn.com/goal-of-the-month-official-rules/). Then cast your vote and completely fill out the form below and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a chance to win a personal VIP tour of the NESN studio and watch the hockey pre-game show live in studio.

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Take Our Survey

NFL Rumors: Antonio Brown’s Week 17 Absence Due To Spat With Ben Roethlisberger

Antonio Brown’s absence from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday was assumed to be due to knee injury, because, well, that’s what was on the injury report all week.
Well, that doesn’t appear to be quite right.
Monday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a bombshell about why Brown actually did not play.
“Steelers receiver Antonio Brown did not play in the season-ending game against the Cincinnati Bengals because he elected to sit out practice last week after a dispute with Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned.
Several sources said the Steelers’ decision to not play Brown against the Bengals had nothing to do with any type of knee injury.
The disagreement occurred Wednesday morning during a routine walk-through practice that precedes their regular afternoon practice on the South Side. Brown was disgusted and threw a football in Roethlisberger’s direction, several sources said.

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After that, Brown did not practice the rest of the week. According to a source, it was Brown’s decision not to practice with his teammates.”
The Steelers ultimately won the game, but were eliminated from the playoffs due to wins by the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts.
Brown reportedly also skipped Saturday’s walk-through, but according to NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala, it wasn’t totally expected that he wouldn’t play.
“His teammates expected him to play on Sunday,” Kinkhabwala said on NFL Network’s “The Aftermath”. “He came to Heinz Field Sunday, he obviously did not suit up, and now this becomes a question of, what is going on with Antonio Brown? Is the level of discipline and accountability where this team needs it to be?”
Kinkhabwala also reported, citing sources, that Brown ended up leaving Heinz Field at halftime.
Obviously this speaks to a bigger problem within the organization. The Steelers have plenty of talent, but with so much tension, one has to think this may be signaling a major issue that will stagnate the franchise unless something is done.

Brad Marchand Defends Tyler Seguin After Stars CEO’s Profanity-Laced Tirade

Tyler Seguin is no stranger to harsh criticism, but some recent comments from his team’s CEO may be the harshest yet.
The Dallas Stars forward, as well as Jamie Benn, were raked over the coals by Jim Lites for their less-than-stellar play. In the profanity-laced tired unleashed by Lites in a story to “The Athletic,” maybe his most jarring comment was that the two “are f—— horse—-.”
Yeah, not a great look.
In light of the remarks, Brad Marchand came to the defense of his former Boston Bruins teammate. After saying that Seguin really is a good guy and that he didn’t deserve the disparaging treatment he received by some on his way out of Boston, Marchand chastised Lites.

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“(He) might’ve lost it a little bit too much there,” Marchand told The Athletic’s Joe McDonald. “They are two of the top players in the league and have been for a long time. So when you’re looking at a 30-game segment and they don’t put up 50 points in 30 games and you’re losing, I don’t necessarily agree with that.
“They’ve been two of the top players in the league the last four or five years, and you haven’t heard a peep out of (Lites) in that time,” Marchand added. “It doesn’t take long for those guys to go off (production-wise) and getting 30 points in 20 games and (Lites) won’t say a whole lot then. You can’t expect guys to have their best year every single year. By no means are they having bad years. Compared to what they’ve done it might not be the same.”
Given the talent Seguin has, it’s little surprise he so often is under the microscope, fair or not. But judging by league-wide reaction to Lites’ remarks, it sounds like folks know Lites went too far.
Click here for McDonald’s full conversation with Marchand >>>

Why Colin Cowherd Believes Chiefs, AFC Should Fear Patriots In Playoffs

Glory still might beckon for the New England Patriots.
FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd believes the Kansas City Chiefs and other AFC playoff teams should fear the Patriots because New England was a mere missed tackle away from narrowly missed out on the No. 1 seed. The Patriots will begin their playoff push at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 13 at Gillette Stadium against a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the division round, and Cowherd explained Monday on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” why he believes their renewed momentum suggests the rest of the AFC might not be capable of denying them another Super Bowl appearance.

“I’m watching that Patriots' game yesterday and I’m like "two words for the AFC, uh-oh!""@ColinCowherd explains why the Chiefs and the rest of the AFC should be afraid of the Patriots pic.twitter.com/YKU9POz6ng
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 31, 2018

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“I’m watching that Patriots game yesterday and I’m like ‘two words for the AFC: uh oh,” Cowherd said. “New England’s healthy, rolling, running it, best coach, running it, bye, at home, situational pass rush and one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Two words AFC: ‘uh oh.’”
After their resounding 38-3 win over the New York Jets on Sunday in Week 17, the Patriots finished the regular season with an 11-5 record and the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They might have been in position to secure the top seed if had they not lost to the Miami Dolphins on a 69-yard, multi-lateral play as time expired to win their Week 14 game 34-33.
The so-called “Miami Miracle” now is in the past, as the Patriots attempt to end a relatively underwhilming season with the ultimate high. Cowherd seems to be a believer in New England’s chances and he certainly isn’t the only one.

Bill Belichick Explains Why 2018 Patriots’ Story Has Yet To Be Written

It wasn’t your typical New England Patriots season, but Week 17 concluded with Bill Belichick’s team sitting where they normally do: with a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
The Patriots opened the season 1-2 with losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions before reeling off six wins in a row. New England’s win streak was halted by a 34-10 shellacking at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. The Patriots won four out of their final six games to finish the season at 11-5, which is the franchise’s worst record since 2009.
Despite New England having a subpar regular season by its standards, Belichick believes the 2018 Patriots’ story has yet to be written. The Patriots coach explained his thinking Monday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria.”

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“I think that is what will be answered in the coming weeks,” Belichick said, via WEEI. “Our season is in front of us, not behind us, so whatever it is, it is. Whatever it was, it was. It is about what is going to happen here moving forward. That is what we need to do. We need to make the most of these opportunities and we need to be ready to play our best football a week from Sunday at 1 o’clock. We are going to be playing a good team. We’re going to have to play our best game of the year to beat them. We know that. It doesn’t matter who it is. You don’t play this time of year if you’re not a good football team. That is what it will be and that is where we need to be, so we’ll do everything we can to get there. We’ll see what the story is on this year’s team.”
The Patriots will sit and rest this weekend while they wait to see if the No. 3 seed Houston Texans, No. 4 seed Baltimore Ravens or No. 5 seed Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Foxboro for the AFC Divisional Round.

Why Patriots’ Blowout Win Over Jets Didn’t Impress Shannon Sharpe

The Patriots sure looked like themselves Sunday in a 38-3 blowout win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
Just don’t tell Shannon Sharpe.
Sharpe explained Monday on FS1’s “Undisputed” why he wasn’t impressed at all by New England’s Week 17 victory, pointing to New York’s depleted defense and lack of motivation while playing out the string under since-fired head coach Todd Bowles.

"I was not impressed with Tom Brady throwing 4 TDs against a very bad team that gave up a long time ago. … The Patriots and Tom Brady beat up on a very undermanned New York Jets football team with a rookie QB." — @ShannonSharpe pic.twitter.com/943Y3RSkr8

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— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) December 31, 2018

Tom Brady threw for 250 yards with four touchdowns Sunday as New England locked up the AFC’s No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye. The Patriots will face the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens or Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round, depending on what happens in this weekend’s wild-card round, at which point they’ll be tested more than they were in Week 17.
Maybe then Sharpe will give credit where it’s due, although it’s not completely unfair to question the Patriots’ Super Bowl chances based on the hiccups they’ve endured at points this season.