Revisiting that coordinator story line

December, 28, 2010
12/28/10
12:55
PM ET
One of the hot topics of the offseason was how the Patriots would fare without official offensive and defensive coordinators.

Bill Belichick first made the announcement in early February. The reaction in some corners was that Belichick might be trying to do too much, although he later explained that wasn't the case. Some poked fun at him, even as he explained that his responsibilities weren't growing.

"I'm not going to take on more workload," Belichick said in March. "It just might be distributed a little differently. That's the way it's been in the past. My workload hasn't changed in the last 10 years. It's been distributed differently, from year to year, or even within a year, within different timeframes of the year -- between personnel and football, or offense, defense and special teams as it relates just to football."

The issue obviously hasn't been a big one for the Patriots this season. Specific to the defensive side of the ball, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson was asked today to revisit how he thinks things have unfolded without an official coordinator.

"I don't agree with that, because I think we have the ultimate defensive coordinator in Bill Belichick," Johnson responded. "He will always be my coach, to me. With him just coming in and some of the things he does in our meeting rooms, and just orchestrating the meetings, with the players and the tips and all that stuff, to me it's priceless."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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