ESPN analyst and former Patriot Tedy Bruschi thinks New England will choose an internal candidate to replace defensive coordinator Dean Pees, though he thinks the coach might not get the defensive coordinator title.
“With Al Groh and Romeo Crennel of the market, I’d be surprised if they hired somebody from the outside,” Bruschi said. “Two names to keep in mind: [Patriots defensive line coach] Pepper Johnson and [linebackers coach] Matt Patricia. Pepper Johnson has a lifetime of experience playing and coaching in the Bill Belichick schemes and Matt Patricia is one of the brightest young coaches in the NFL. Look for one of these two coaches to pull the load of defensive coordinator.
“But remember, when Charlie Weis left for Notre Dame there was no technical ‘offensive coordinator.’ Josh McDaniels was calling the plays and doing all the work of an offensive coordinator but he was never named offensive coordinator. This is a possibility with Johnson and Patricia.”