The Wednesday Show Prep

posted by Steve Bortstein - 

You should probably get used to seeing Josh McDaniels wearing this get-up for quite awhile.

McDaniels, according to multiple sources last night, spurned the opportunity at the last minute to be the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, in favor of remaining with the New England Patriots.

And even with the recent loss in the Super Bowl last weekend to the Philadelphia Eagles, I feel confident enough to say the immediate future for the Patriots is still a little better than it is at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Colts.

But before we continue to shake our heads at the remarkable ability of the Patriots organization to remain in the headlines after LOSING the biggest game of the season in spectacular fashion, let's also bow our heads for a moment at the soon-to-be ending career of McDaniels.

There isn't a front office in the league that would come near him in the future.

It will be argued that McDaniels didn't sign a contract, so he "really didn't reject the Colts", but that's just flat out ridiculous. If you want to make the statement the Colts got burned by McDaniels, I'll buy that logic instead, but trying to pass this off as just business as usual is just incredibly ludicrous.

McDaniels did this team wrong, and that reputation will follow him for the rest of his time in the league.

Let's not forget the stellar effort McDaniels had in running the Denver Broncos in 2009-10, coaching the team for 28 games and losing 17 of them. 

It's also ironic that McDaniels might best be remembered for a similar storyline in Denver that is playing itself out in Foxboro as we speak.

In the final regular season game for the Broncos in 2009, the Broncos were playing the Kansas City Chiefs with a chance to make the playoffs. The Broncos lost 44-24, the team's third straight home loss to a division opponent and ending the season with an 8–8 record. 

Controversy surrounded McDaniels for his benching of Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall for the game due to disciplinary reasons; Marshall would be traded to the Miami Dolphins after the season.

The relationship between players as well as members of the front office with McDaniels was strained early on and never really recovered. So one wonders if McDaniels, with just a small resume as a head coach and now this little blemish, if he'll be either tied to the Patriots for a very long time, or worse yet, has blacklisted himself with every other team in the league.

And by the way.... has anyone else wondered aloud how colts owner Jim Irsay is going to feel about all of this when he wakes up this afternoon after another night of heavy drinking on substance binging?

The Butler Did Something..... (Part 3)

ESPN -- New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler took to social media on Tuesday to refute rumors of possible reasons he didn't play on defense in Super Bowl 52.

Meanwhile, sources tell ESPN that it was known within parts of the team in the days leading up to the 41-33 loss to Philadelphia that Butler's role would at least be diminished.

The Patriots' decision not to play him in Super Bowl LII was puzzling, considering he had played in nearly every defensive snap in the regular season. But while the decision was a major surprise to outsiders, it wasn't a shock to one high-ranking member of the organization who told ESPN that he was aware Butler wouldn't play a major role at least a day or two before the game.

That was consistent with what two of the team's captains said after the game -- that they knew Butler wasn't going to be a significant part of the game plan.

Why that was the case remains unknown, although one person who was at each of the team's practices leading up to the Super Bowl relayed that Butler struggled with what the Patriots were asking him to do against the Eagles' complex scheme. Couple those struggles with a regular season that Butler admitted wasn't his best, and it might have been part of coach Bill Belichick's decision-making process.

Houston Rockets v New Orleans Pelicans

NBA action last night, and things got much tighter atop the standings in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. 

First, the Oklahoma City Thunder pounded the Golden State Warriors 125-105. That score, combined with Houston’s 123-113 win over Brooklyn, puts the Rockets just one game back of the defending champions in the West. James Harden scored 36 points on the night for the Rockets.

Back east, Toronto walloped the Celtics 111-91, moving the Raptors to just one back of Boston atop the Eastern standings. Meantime, Cleveland continues to unravel as they lose to Orlando, one of the worst teams in the league, by a final of 116-98.

And in New York, an MRI on Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis revealed that he tore the ACL in his left knee during Tuesday's 103-89 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Kaepernick case of collusion moving forward

Colin Kaepernick's grievance against the NFL is moving forward, according to CBS Sports and its sources, with his attorneys and the league recently exchanging almost 100,000 documents.

Kaepernick filed his collusion suit against the NFL in midseason - after a handful of teams had experienced injuries to starting quarterbacks yet with the former Super Bowl QB unable to secure even a workout all season. Kaepernick remained unsigned through the entire 2017 season and has visitied with just one team since leaving the 49ers last year (Seattle). 

The NFL and its collective front office types would do well to rid themselves of this case as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Win or lose, get it over with. The more time this whole situation takes, the longer the divide between fans and detractors will continue to remain tangled.

In another case of "Words Matter"

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was killed this past weekend by a drunk driver. 

The man behind the wheel of the truck which killed Jackson was a twice-deported Guatemalan who was living in this country under an alias. 

Yesterday morning, POTUS tweeted about the incident, referring to Jackson as "a wonderful young man" while also using the man's death to once again remind both his supporters and detractors of his own political ideology towards immigration reform.

Last October, when Jackson, along with more than 100 NFL players joined each other in protest during the national anthem, POTUS referred to all player/protesters as "sons of bitches" who should have their livelihoods threatened.

So, I'm confused.... is Jackson a wonderful young man because he fits the current narrative, and if so, was Jackson a son of a bitch because he fit the narrative at that particular time?

I'll admit, it's not so hard to keep up. You just have to pay attention to the constantly shifting winds of change. And to make sure you always remember that one person's tragedy is another person's opportunity.

Spring Training is just about here

By the way, it's almost time.... Hope springs eternal.

Pitchers and catchers report next week.

It's almost time for Dodger baseball.

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