BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have done their share of winning on the football field.,Prior to that championship tilt, Belichick sat down with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi to chat about his relationship with Saban, which dates back to the early 1980s when Saban was coaching with Belichick’s father at the Naval Academy.,Belichick hired Saban to be his defensive coordinator in Cleveland in 1991, and even when they were AFC East foes in 2005 (when Saban was head coach of the Miami Dolphins), Saban made sure to attend the funeral for Belichick’s father despite it taking place in the middle of a game week.,So the two all-time coaches have a pretty good feel for each other, which led to some interesting responses during Rinaldi’s sitdown (Saban also shared his thoughts on Belichick for the piece).,And while Belichick probably doesn’t like to see his buddy lose on the biggest stage, Monday night’s Alabama loss may be good news for the Patriots.

Gus Bradley was successful in coming up with a game plan to thwart an athletic rookie quarterback making his first postseason start.,A day after Los Angeles advanced with a 23-17 victory over Baltimore in an AFC wild-card game, Bradley and the rest of the Chargers were beginning to prepare to face the most experienced postseason quarterback in NFL history in Tom Brady, who will make his 38th playoff start for New England on Sunday.,According to Sportradar, the 58 snaps are the most any team has gone with quarter personnel (seven defensive backs) in any game since the NFL's Next Gen Stats came online in 2014.,Lynn said he was surprised by Bradley's idea to use it the entire game and that it led to lots of discussion with the coaching staff leading up to the game, but in the end it was the best move to make.,Bradley's strategy in that game was to use six defensive backs on 53 of 82 plays.

Nor is it likely to end well for a lot of Lakers, some of whom could be New Orleans-bound in a trade for Anthony Davis … or cut for salary cap space, like the eight of them who are on one-year deals, to bring in more free agents like Klay Thompson … or unemployed like Coach Luke Walton if Magic Johnson holds him responsible for any shortfall.,I don’t see a second-round loss going over well with Johnson, not after he read Walton the riot act seven games into the season, then, in as close as he felt like coming to reassuring everyone publicly, said Luke would, “finish this season unless something drastic happens, which it won’t.”,It’s still emerging with last week’s report by ESPN’s uber-connected Adrian Wojnarowski that Magic has wanted a new coach since he took over, but has yet to convince Jeanie Buss, who is “fiercely loyal” to Walton.,Despite his cachet, James hasn’t been a behind-the-scenes schemer … aside from all his player recruiting … although Riley, whom LeBron left high and dry, late revealed that LeBron hinted that he would like him to fire Coach Erik Spoelstra during LeBron’s first season in Miami without coming out and actually asking him to do it.,A recent report from ESPN’s uber-connected Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has wanted a new coach since he took over in February of 2017, but has yet to convince team owner Jeanie Buss, who is “fiercely loyal” to Luke Walton, left.

In their first season in Indianapolis, head coach Frank Reich, left, and offensive coordinator and Jamestown native Nick Sirianni have guided the Colts into the playoffs.,Father Fran, a member of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, coached Southwestern High School from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s; brother Mike is the head coach at Washington & Jefferson College where he has compiled one of the best winning percentages in the NCAA; and brother Jay coached Southwestern to a pair of New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships in 2008 and 2009.,Once the youngest Sirianni arrived at the University of Mount Union, he played for Larry Kehres, who guided the Purple Raiders to 11 national championships in his career.,Upon his graduation, Sirianni began his climb up the coaching ranks with stops at Mount Union, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Kansas Chiefs and the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, before joining Reich’s staff in Indianapolis last February.,“One of the reasons I’m in the position I’m in now is because of the successful coaches I’ve been around, starting with growing up in a coach’s house, learning how to coach with my brothers, and then, obviously, playing for the most successful coach in NCAA football history in Larry Kehres,” he told The Post-Journal last October.

Holgate at North Baltimore

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Just a few weeks ago, Cleary held in his hands for the first time, his first album: Key & Cleary “Love is the Way,” an anthology of 22 songs that he and his fellow musicians recorded throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s in Buffalo.,Each track of the double disc album tells a story: Cleary’s journey from the East Side of Buffalo to the Marine Corps, to owning his own construction company to running the computer department at Dunkirk Ice Cream.,While themes of black empowerment are evident in some tracks, Key and Cleary’s music evolved over the years to take on more universal themes and expressions.,Producer David Griffiths, a long-time fan of Key and Cleary, brought their music to Alapatt’s attention, about two years ago.,Key and Cleary, as with many of their songs over the years, re-recorded and produced their music, especially “What It Takes to Live.”

As difficult and occasionally weird as 2018 was — from the season-long absence of running back Le’Veon Bell to the occasionally erratic behavior by star wide receiver Antonio Brown to a series of losses in November and December in which the Steelers let second-half leads slip away — the longtime quarterback remains adamant the Steelers are on the right path.,Four losses over the final six weeks followed, each setback coming in a game Pittsburgh led after halftime.,The issue, Heyward insisted, wasn’t coaching or the steady trickle of off-the-field headlines, be it Bell’s refusal to sign his $14.4 million franchise tender or Brown’s series of missteps.,The only player in NFL history with six straight 100-catch seasons suggested he wouldn’t mind getting traded after a former team employee tweaked him on Twitter and threatened to harm a reporter who attempted to do an in-depth piece on Brown’s personal life.,Instead, a year that got off to a weird start with the offensive line publicly venting about Bell opting not to end his standoff with the team ahead of Week 1 followed immediately by a six-turnover tie in Cleveland and never really seemed to get to some semblance of “normal” ended with Pittsburgh watching the videoboard at Heinz Field hoping Cleveland could knock off Baltimore.

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins once had a coach named Bob Berry, who had this opening comment after the team was eliminated from postseason consideration:

Mike Tomlin didn’t have anything nearly as dramatic to say after the Steelers were excluded from the NFL playoffs despite Sunday’s 16-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.,McCrane, who had spent time with two other teams this season, was called and practiced for the first and only time on Friday.,In addition to divisional road games in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore, they will play at New England, the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona and San Francisco.,Their home games will be against the three divisional teams plus Buffalo, Miami, Seattle, the Los Angeles Rams and the Indianapolis Colts.,Roethlisberger became the seventh NFL quarterback to pass for at least 5,000 yards in a season. read more

The New England Patriots have earned a first-round AFC playoff bye.,The Texans rallied from losing their first three games to win the AFC South and will be the No 3 seed, hosting a wild-card contest next weekend.,In the later games, Kansas City earned the top AFC seed with a 35-3 win at home over Oakland, relegating the Los Angeles Chargers to the No. 5 seed despite a 23-9 win over Denver.,The final playoff spot goes to the winner of Sunday night's game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans.,Chicago earned the No. 3 seed with a 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings, which officially eliminated the Vikings from the playoffs and helped clear the way for the Philadelphia Eagles, who shut out Washington 24-0 to earn a shot at defending their Super Bowl title.

At home, the Steelers will face the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins, the Indianapolis Colts, the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams.,RELATED STORIES:

For away games, the Steelers will play the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers.,Dates and times for all games will be announced in April. read more