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Autopsy shows Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher was drunk when he killed girlfriend, himself 01.14.13 at 1:18 pm ET
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Jovan Belcher

Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was legally drunk when he killed his live-in girlfriend and then himself on Dec. 1, according to autopsy results released Monday.

The Kansas City Star reports that the former University of Maine star had a blood-alcohol level of .17 when he died. Police discovered Belcher sleeping in his car outside the apartment of another woman at about 3 a.m. following a night out, but officers noted that his car was legally parked and he “became more fluid and coherent” shortly after being woken up, and there was no smell of alcohol.

Belcher, 25, shot his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, nine times a few hours later at their home after an argument. The couple’s infant daughter and Belcher’s mother were in the home as well. He then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and spoke to general manager Scott Pioli, linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and head coach Romeo Crennel before turning his gun on himself.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Mavericks part ways with Delonte West 10.30.12 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Mavericks at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)

AROUND THE WEB:

Delonte West no longer is with the Mavericks after two preseason suspensions. (AP)

♦ The Mavericks open the season Tuesday night with a game against the Lakers, and they’ll do so without troubled guard Delonte West. The onetime Celtic was dismissed on Monday following his second suspension in as many weeks.

West, who has bipolar disorder, was expected to be a key role player for the Mavs, but his behavior during the preseason forced Dallas to make the move. The Mavericks, who will be without Dirk Nowitzki for a while as he recovers from knee surgery, start the season with nine new players and four new starters.

“This is what we’ve got. That’s the way it is,” said forward Shawn Marion, the only returning starter. “We can’t harp on it all day. We’ll do what we’ve got to do.”

Meanwhile, the Lakers might not be at full strength either, as Kobe Bryant has missed the last week of practice with a foot injury and is a game-time decision.

♦ According to an ESPN report, Yankees manager Joe Girardi called Alex Rodriguez late last week in an attempt to improve their relationship following the veteran third baseman’s disastrous postseason.

Giardi called A-Rod on the same day it was reported that Girardi contacted the Yankee Stadium press box during a postseason game asking that Rodriguez’s name not be announced when he was removed for a pinch-hitter, apparently to protect A-Rod from more booing from the home fans.

According to ESPN, the conversation went well. “Joe could not have been more supportive, and Alex couldn’t have been more receptive,” the source said.

Rodriguez has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract, making it unlikely the Yankees could trade him even if he waived his no-trade rights.

♦ Here’s your daily Jets update: Coach Rex Ryan, who gave his team the week off with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the area and with a bye next Sunday, professed loyalty to much-maligned quarterback Mark Sanchez following Sunday’s 30-9 embarrassment vs. the Dolphins.

“I think Mark’s our guy,” Ryan said at Monday’s media session. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. I’m confident in Mark.”

Ryan said he plans to brainstorm with his coaches this week and come up with ways to right the sinking ship. He acknowledged considering finding a way to get more out of Tim Tebow — but not as the starting quarterback.

“I think we’ll take a hard look at how we’re using him, what we’re asking him to do,” Ryan said. “Are there other things we can do with him? I think you’re absolutely right. We will definitely look at that.”

♦ Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel is known as a defensive specialist, and apparently he doesn’t pay close attention to his own team’s offense. The former Patriots defensive coordinator was as surprised as anyone that running back Jamaal Charles — who averages 5.0 yards per carry this season — had just five rushes in Sunday’s 26-16 loss to the Raiders.

“Now, I’m not exactly sure,” Crennel said after the game when asked about Charles’ limited touches.

On Monday, Crennel had a better explanation, saying that the Raiders “loaded up” against the run.

“I think they expected us to run the ball a little bit,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 30, 1954, the Celtics lost to the Rochester Royals, 98-95, in a game that marked the debut of which two NBA rules that had a big effect on the way the game was played?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Broken Branches on Belichick Coaching Tree 11.24.09 at 1:32 am ET
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A week ago, Bill Belichick was not in the most cheerful of spirits after his failed decision to go for a fourth-and-2 from his own 28-yard line. Now, seven days later, Belichick can sit back in his office in jollier spirits after the Patriots overpowered Rex Ryan’s Jets, 31-14, in a Sunday afternoon showdown in Foxboro.

Yet, while Belichick may be able to put on a merry Monday morning quarterback face this week, a few of his former coaching pupils find themselves either in the losing column, on the hot seat or just plain out of work.

Since Belichick first became a head coach for the Cleveland Browns in 1991, there have been multiple coordinators, assistants, scouts and other personnel who have sought to create their own legacy to follow in the footsteps of their great mentor. Although some have fared better than others since leaving Belichick’s staff, the majority of his coaching family tree has experienced a degree of difficulty making the transition from acting behind-the-scenes to manning a franchise of their own. Here is a look at how the five most prominent graduates of Belichick’s Coaching Academy have performed since departing from their teacher.

Charlie Weis

When Belichick left the Jets to be named head coach of the Patriots in 2000, Weis followed him from New York to New England. Serving as the offensive coordinator until 2004, Weis engineered the initiation of the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system. Assisting in Tom Brady‘s development as the franchise quarterback, Weis helped guide the team to three Super Bowl titles before leaving the Patriots to take over as Notre Dame head coach in 2005. Since then, Weis has not enjoyed the same success as he did in New England. With a 35-26 mark and a 1-2 record in bowl games, Weis has recently come under massive scrutiny, allowing many to speculate that his days as the Fighting Irish coach could be numbered. Indicating a 6-5 record was not good enough when he replaced Tyrone Willingham, Weis has already stated he would not argue with a firing if that is the end result.

Eric Mangini

Hired as the Patriots defensive coordinator in 2005 after serving as the defensive backs coach, Mangini left New England for the Jets in 2006. Accepting the job Belichick had turned down seven years earlier, Mangini instantly became Belichick’s nemesis, causing their relationship to sour. From avoiding postgame handshakes to refusing to acknowledge each other’s success, these two coaches spiced up a rivalry for three years. Referred to as “Fredo” (the disloyal son in “The Godfather”) by Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren, Mangini opened the door for New England fans to detest him even further after accusing Belichick of recording the Jets’ defensive signals in 2007 during the infamous Spygate incident. In his three years overseeing the Jets, Mangini struggled, including a late-season collapse in 2008 that ultimately cost him his job. Mangini’s tenure in New York ended with a 23-25 record along with a 2006 AFC wild card playoff loss to the Patriots.

Now guiding the Browns, Mangini’s coaching career has gone from bad to worse. With a 1-8 record in the first year of a three-year deal, Mangini has drawn criticism for his strict coaching mechanisms and his inability to earn respect from his players.

Romeo Crennel

Winning three Super Bowls as defensive coordinator with the Patriots from 2001-04, Crennel was unable to carry his success over to the Browns. As Browns coach from 2005-08, Crennel failed to deliver a playoff berth, compiling a 24-40 record in four seasons. Entering 2008 with high expectations after a 10-6 2007 season, Crennel watched his young, talented team fall to a 4-12 record that led to his firing at year’s end, making way for Mangini to take over. Even though he is currently unemployed as a coach — opting to sit out this year while recovering from hip surgery — Crennel still can be seen on Sundays — in Coors Light commercials, that is.

Josh McDaniels

Starting out as a personal assistant with the Patriots in 2001, McDaniels assumed several coaching roles with the Patriots before becoming offensive coordinator in 2006. Agreeing to take over in Denver following the Mike Shanahan firing, McDaniels wasted no time sparking controversy in his new organization.

After reports were leaked indicating McDaniels had tried to aquire Matt Cassel from the Patriots to serve as his quarterback, an offended Jay Cutler requested a trade from the Broncos. The disgruntled quarterback was eventually dealt to the Bears.

The bickering did not end there. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall demanded to be traded during training camp after clashing with McDaniels. While McDaniels only suspended Marshall instead of granting him his request, he seemed to temporarily calm the storm as the Broncos began the season 6-0, including a Week 5 defeat of the Patriots by an overtime score of 20-17. With Denver having lost four straight since then, many wonder if McDaniels finally has become exposed. With the Broncos set to host the Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, only time will tell.

Nick Saban

In 1995, Saban was named defensive coordinator of the Browns under Belichick. After a successful tenure with Louisiana State University when he led the Tigers to a 2003 BCS national championship and was named the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, Saban started his NFL head coaching career following the 2004 season, when he agreed to fill the Miami Dolphins‘ vacancy. In his two seasons with the franchise, Saban showed he had difficulty transitioning between the collegiate and professional level, going 15-17 before leaving the Dolphins to return to college. His decision to do so generated a significant degree of controversy. For the past three seasons, Saban has coached the Alabama Crimson Tide, who are 11-0 and ranked No. 2 in the AP poll behind the University of Florida.

While Saban’s college history is decorated, his NFL career — like those of many of the Belichick coaching progeny — is remembered only for its mediocrity and controversy.

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From Foxboro to Cleveland and back… 12.30.08 at 12:35 pm ET
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There seems to be a great deal of mutual interest between Scott Pioli and the Cleveland Browns, concerning their vacant general manager’s position. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Pioli is very interested in the gig while there could be an intriguing third party entering the picture. Should Pioli stay in New England or head to Kansas City or Detroit, Bill Parcells could quickly enter the picture since he has a lucrative buyout clause in Miami if owner Wayne Huizenga sells his interest in the team and he is said to be considering selling the Fins within the next two months. Meanwhile, the Browns are interested in northeast Ohio native and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace Romeo Crennel, who could stay on as defensive coordinator. Browns owner Randy Lerner fired G.M. Phil Savage over the weekend while Crennel was fired as head coach on Monday. The Browns are also interested in axed Jets head coach Eric Mangini. Besides being the single individual who could overhaul the Cleveland Browns with an injection of New England Patriots personnel, who is Randy Lerner?

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Black Monday… 12.29.08 at 3:13 pm ET
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It’s the Monday after the final NFL regular season game and the blood-letting has begun. We begin first in New York where the axe has come down on Eric Mangini. The New York Post screams ‘Dump ‘em’ and that’s what owner Woody Johnson and G.M. Michael Tannenbaum have done in firing Mangenius. … The Cleveland Browns have shown Romeo Crennel the door in the mistake by the lake. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that the Browns have asked the Patriots their permission to speak to Scott Pioli for their vacant G.M. job to replace Phil Savage. Mangini could be a candidate to replace Crennel. Not surprisingly, after leading his team, the Detroit Lions, to the first 0-16 finish in NFL history, Rod Marinelli is looking for work today. Wade Phillips didn’t get fired by Jerry Jones in Dallas but judging by the Dallas papers and his press conference today, maybe he wishes he had.

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Around the NFL… 12.11.08 at 12:54 pm ET
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The days of Romeo Crennel and GM Phil Savage in Cleveland certainly appear to be waning. From the fine folks at Pro Football Talk, candidates are starting to line up as the team suffers through a remarkably disappointing 4-9 season. Then there’s that OTHER team in Ohio that has NFL membership and licensing privileges. Gotta love Chad Ochocinco. Only he could draw attention to a 1-11-1 team by predicting his team will be better next season. What Detroit wouldn’t give for a guy like that? Maybe they will in the off-season.

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