Friday, February 5, 2010
Updated: February 6, 7:18 AM ET
Patriots won't fill D-coordinator post
By Mike Reiss
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick does not plan to name a defensive coordinator in 2010 and instead will be more involved on defense and share the workload with his assistants, according to the team's official website.
"Titles are fine, nothing wrong with them," Belichick said on Patriots.com, "but the most important thing is each person's role, that we do everything we can to help the players succeed -- everyone collectively getting the job done."
The Patriots and Dean Pees, who served as defensive coordinator the last four seasons, parted ways in January.
The Patriots have since hired former Patriot Corwin Brown to work with the defense. Brown will coach defensive backs along with last year's defensive backs coach, Josh Boyer. The rest of the defensive staff has remained intact.
"Corwin Brown is one of the high-class people in football," Belichick said on Patriots.com. "He was a tough, smart leader who was great to coach and those are the traits he brings to our staff. He has stepped in well with Josh Boyer, [linebackers coach] Matt Patricia, [defensive line coach] Pepper Johnson, [coaching assistant] Pat Graham and myself, and as a group we are committed to putting a competitive defense on the field. This is the best course for us to move forward in 2010."
While there will be no official coordinator, some of those duties will still have to be split up among the defensive coaches.
Every offensive coach except for Shane Waldron (tight ends) is returning. The Patriots have yet to name a tight ends coach.
The Patriots have not named an offensive coordinator. If they do, it would almost certainly be quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien, who handled much of the play-calling duties in 2009 when the team went without an official coordinator. Belichick's comments Friday positioned O'Brien as the leader of the offensive staff.
"Bill O'Brien has demonstrated excellent leadership and organizational skills in our offense," Belichick said on Patriots.com. "He is a sharp and passionate coach."
The rest of the offensive staff for 2010 will include assistant head coach/offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, running backs coach Ivan Fears, receivers coach Chad O'Shea and coaching assistant Brian Ferentz. It is possible that Ferentz could be promoted to tight ends coach.
"It is a good mix on that side of the ball, with Bill working with some extremely experienced coaches in Dante Scarnecchia and Ivan Fears, who have been here my entire time in New England, and some more recent additions to the staff in Chad O'Shea and Brian Ferentz," Belichick said on Patriots.com.
Special teams coach Scott O'Brien and coaching assistant Brian Flores also return.
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPN Boston. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.