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News Blitz 1/23: The season's grades are in

Posted Jan 23, 2014

In this edition of the Patriots.com news blitz we focus on the recent coaching changes within Bill Belichick's staff and we take a look at some season grades for the team.


The big news out of New England yesterday was offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia's retirement. Both Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe and Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston wrote about what Scarnecchia meant to the team. After Scarnecchia announced his retirement, Bill Belichick released a statement about his long-time assistant coach.

"In whatever category a coach can be assessed - evaluator, teacher, motivator, problem solver, disciplinarian, team player, winner - Dante is as good as it gets," said Belichick.

Last night night, it was reported that the Bill Belichick had lost another member of his coaching staff. NESN's Doug Kyed writes that the Patriots' tight ends coach, George Godsey has decided to join the Houston Texans as part of Bill O'Obrien's staff. Godsey had been coaching in New England since 2011 when he began as an offensive assistant.

Rumors had spread that Josh McDaniels was back into consideration for the Cleveland Browns head coaching job, however, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that those rumors were false.

With the loss of Dante Scarnecchia, Pepper Johnson, and possibly George Godsey, ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss updated the list of the team's coaching staff.

As the Patriots season comes to a close, Ron Borges posted his final grades for the team in this morning's Boston Herald. Coaching and special teams were the only two categories to receive an A, while Julian Edelman, Stephen Gostkowski, Logan Mankins, and Aqib Talib were amont the players who received an A.

ESPN Boston took a look back at their bold predictions from training camp to see how they did. Mike Reiss certainly did better with his predictions than Field Yates. Reiss predicted that Kenbrell Thompkins will earn a roster spot and also predicted that Devin McCourty would be voted to his second Pro Bowl. Though McCourty did not make the Pro Bowl, he was elected to the Associated Press All-Pro team.

In the wake of New England's second-straight AFC Championship loss, Cian Fahey of the Bleacher Report asks whether this is the beginning of the end for Tom Brady. Fahey commends Brady for what he accomplished this year without his usual weapons, but also critiques his performance in the AFC Championship game.

However, according to Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe the answer is simple: the Patriots need more talent. Gasper believes that Belichick is the best coach in the NFL but that he is limiting himself with the decisions he's made as a general manager.

"Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. He is the greatest coach of his generation. He is arguably the greatest coach ever. His game plans could be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art," says Gasper. "But that alone is not a substitute for talent, not in the most important games of the season."

Boston.com's Adam Kaufman agrees and adds his own reasons why the Patriots need more weapons. He echoes what Fahey said in that Brady is certainly on the decline and he needs help more than ever. Kaufman says that New England cannot afford another wasted year in the Brady era.

Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal notes some of the in-house decisions that the Patriots will have to make this offseason. He believes that the NFL's salary cap could force New England to do a bigger roster reduction than it ever had to do in the past.