Morning sports update: Here’s the latest on Josh McDaniels’s future with the Patriots

Also: Brad Stevens's challenge to the Celtics, the last time Nick Saban lost by such a wide margin, and a Robert Williams highlight.

Josh McDaniels in 2017 after the AFC Championship.
Josh McDaniels in 2017 after the AFC Championship. –John Cetrino / EPA

The Celtics prevailed over the Nets at home on Monday, 116-95. Kyrie Irving returned to the Celtics lineup, leading the team with 17 points among a Boston contingent of eight players  in double digits.

Also on Monday night, college football’s National Championship was won by Clemson over Alabama. The Tigers, who won 44-16, gave Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban his worst loss since he was with the Miami Dolphins

Josh McDaniels could be staying in New England for another season: The Packers have reportedly hired Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur to be the team’s next head coach. This comes after the Packers interviewed Patriots coaches Brian Flores and Josh McDaniels, among other candidates.

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Since the Packers didn’t choose McDaniels, there’s now an increasing likelihood that the New England offensive coordinator stays put for another year.

McDaniels, who backtracked from his agreement to become the Colts head coach in February, 2018, has been linked to several open head coaching jobs, though none of them appear to be leading towards a change of scenery. He reportedly declined to interview with the Bengals, and hasn’t expressed interest in the vacant Browns position, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This contradicted a separate report from Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository, claiming McDaneils was “enthusiastically interested” in becoming the Browns’ coach.

Other current openings include the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Flores, a Patriots defensive assistant, has reportedly interviewed with the Browns, Broncos and Dolphins on top of the Packers.

Update: On Tuesday morning, McDaniels was asked about his coaching interviews. He responded to a question about the Browns:

And he also said that there are no more interviews to be done:

More from Boston.com:

The Celtics responded to Brad Stevens’s challenge: The Celtics were challenged by their coach to “be great” about ball movement during the team’s Monday night clash with the Nets. Boston responded to its coach, winning comfortably and with noticeably improved passing. [The Boston Globe]

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Celtics rookie Robert Williams reached to make an interception, finishing the move with an emphatic alley-oop:

Also from the Celtics game, Al Horford had Guerschon Yabusele’s back:

A preview of the AFC playoff games this weekend:

On this day: In 1972, the NCAA officially declared freshman eligible to play on college basketball and football teams starting that August. Previously, most first year college athletes had to play on freshman teams, and weren’t allowed to play for the varsity team until they became sophomores.

This led to occasionally bizarre scenarios, such as in 1965 when UCLA’s two-time defending National Champion basketball team lost their first game in the new Pauley Pavilion 75-60. The defeat came at the hands of their own freshman team, led by a 7’1″ center named Lew Alcindor (who would later change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

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The rule’s elimination has cleared the way for numerous freshman superstars, including several players who starred in last night’s College Football Playoff National Championship.

Also on this day, in 1998, Newcastle’s Temuri Ketsbaia missed quite a chance:

Daily highlight: Clemson receiver Justyn Ross made a superb one-handed catch as he was going out of bounds during the third quarter of Monday’s National Championship.

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