NFL Network analyst and former Patriots fullback Heath Evans joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday morning to analyze Saturday's Patriots-Broncos matchup, and one of the topics of discussion was the addition of Josh McDaniels to the Patriots staff to help the team make a smooth transition from outgoing offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. Evans compared the situation to the 2005 Patriots, and he revealed some information about Eric Mangini's acrimonious departure from New England that led to Bill Belichick holding a longstanding grudge.
"Let me backtrack back to '05," Evans said. "In '05 Belichick gives Mangini permission to go interview with the Jets. He comes back -- basically, we all knew he was getting that job -- and spends the week recruiting front office staff and players to go with him. Not really doing his job. We go to Denver, lay an egg [in] Round 2 of the playoffs."
Added Evans: "The bottom line is people always think that Belichick was mad at Mangini because he went to the Jets or he went somewhere in the division. No, it's because ultimately, he screwed our team over when he came back. A man's supposed to be only as good as his word. So, I'll just leave it at that. He gave Bill his word to come back, we'll coach, we'll be focused on the Patriots to finish out this '05 season.
"Listen, we were underhanded a lot in that year in a lot of ways, but we still should have beaten that Denver Broncos team and at least gotten to the AFC championship game."
Evans said he does not expect similar developments with this season's team.
"Not that Billy O'Brien would ever that, because I know Bill and he's not going to do that," he said. "But ultimately, when your mind's in two places -- which it almost has to be when you've committed your future to Penn State -- I think this was a good add and a timely add. Everyone hates it, 'Oh, this has got to be against the rules.' Well, it's not. This is Bill Belichick, always being ahead of everyone else.
"I think it's a good add. I think the future is good. Obviously, [Tom] Brady knows Josh. I was there with Josh. You won't find a much sharper football mind than what Josh has. So, I think the future is good. But I like the pick for the here and now, too. People can say too many hens in the henhouse. I don't think that applies here because of the structure and the discipline of which Belichick runs his organization. I just don't see it being a detriment in any way, shape or form."
As for Saturday's game, Evans likes the Patriots.
"I think the best thing about this game is, if the Broncos play their best game and the Patriots play their best game, you guys probably win by 15, 20 points," he said.
Patriots LB, Jerod Mayo, talks about the high praise he's been receiving from coach Belichick, trying to forget about last year, and what the team hopes from the defense.
Patriots WR, Danny Amendola, joined the show for a bit to talk about his health, the evolution of the playbook, and the heated battles between the offense and defense.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Wednesday's Patriots practice, which featured Brandon Browner getting into it with Kenbrell Thompkins and a couple others.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Rob and Alex talk with John Farrell about all the moves the Red Sox made at the deadline, what they gave up and what they gained.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are in and talking about all the moves made by the Red Sox at the trade deadline, because the most fun thing about the day is talking about the moves of the day. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington held a press conference talking about the Red Sox moves, and Rob and Alex talk with Red Sox manager John Farrell about the moves made at the deadline.
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes reacts to the news that he, along with Jon Lester, have been traded to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.
John, Gerry and Meter react to the breaking news of Jon Lester being dealt to the A's.
ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes gave us the latest on the Lester trade talks.
Lou goes through the 5 stages of grief, then John Lackey gets traded to the Cardinals.
Lou, Christian, and Tim react to the news that Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes have been traded to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes. Lou hates the deal the move, especially because Cespedes is not arbitration eligible.
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes joins MFB to react to the news he has been traded along with Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes
Biggest trade deadline day in recent memory for the Boston Red Sox... and not in a good way. We discuss it all as the news happens and take your reactions.
We tackle four topics, all surrounding the four worst Sox trade deadline deals in recent memory.
As news looms about a possible Jon Lester trade, we sit down with the skipper of your Sox live from Fenway park.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
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Lou, Christian, and Tim react to the news that Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes have been traded to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes. Lou hates the deal the move, especially because Cespedes is not arbitration eligible.More from this show
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes joins MFB to react to the news he has been traded along with Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis CespedesMore from this show
Lou goes through the 5 stages of grief, then John Lackey gets traded to the Cardinals.More from this show