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Report: Patriots fire defensive coordinator

The ugly end to New England’s season has reportedly cost defensive coordinator Dean Pees his job.

Shalise Manza Young broke the news that Pees, 60, was fired Thursday. 

Pees kept a low profile as the team’s defensive coordinator, although he was recently in the news for being hospitalized for shortness of breath in Week Seventeen.

A former head coach at Kent State, Pees was with New England for six seasons, including the last four as defensive coordinator.  He also coached under Nick Saban at Michigan State.

The Patriots came in fifth in scoring defense this year, but came up small in big games.  Pees’ defensive squads in New England didn’t finish worse than eighth in scoring defense in his four seasons. 

ESPN’s Michael Smith suggested on Twitter that linebackers coach Matt Patricia will be a  candidate to replace Pees.  Patriots fans will wonder why the team didn’t bid on Romeo Crennel, but the Patriots traditionally promote from within for their coordinator positions.

UPDATE: Pees wasn’t officially fired; his contract was up.

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57 Responses to “Report: Patriots fire defensive coordinator”
  1. mustbechris says: Jan 14, 2010 4:44 PM

    not surprised. the pats’ defense was just bad this year. it’s not the scheme, it’s the players, but i guess someone had to take the fall.
    hope he works his health issues out.

  2. DemocratsAreStupid says: Jan 14, 2010 4:45 PM

    I bet he’s really “pees’d” off

  3. dieselboy359 says: Jan 14, 2010 4:46 PM

    Can’t say I feel bad about that…would have been nice to get Crennel back though.

  4. Dinozzo says: Jan 14, 2010 4:46 PM

    let’s all welcome Dick Jauron as the New Defensive coordinator….

  5. thesaint257 says: Jan 14, 2010 4:47 PM

    Its beginning to happen already!
    They are reorganizing and giving Brady and Belichick everything they want.

  6. hsf09 says: Jan 14, 2010 4:47 PM

    A day too late. Could of had a shot at Crennel.(half joking when I say that heh.)

  7. tinshaker says: Jan 14, 2010 4:50 PM

    This is a bit surprising…maybe they felt ‘left out’ of all the media lately and thought, hey let’s get in on the action.
    You’re wrong about Patricia though, the most likely move is to trade a folding chair and some mittens to KC for Romeo Crennel.

  8. blackglass says: Jan 14, 2010 4:52 PM

    Boy, that’s about 4 years too late.

  9. kennethnoisewater says: Jan 14, 2010 4:53 PM

    how about getting a guy that can, you know, command respect

  10. Crushitlong says: Jan 14, 2010 4:54 PM

    Trading Seymor to da raiders was a stroke of genius. NOT

  11. cgmac says: Jan 14, 2010 4:54 PM

    As much as I hope the guy gets healthy…..
    YES!! Finally.
    Come on now, don’t promote from within, go get a good defensive coordinator.
    Go get a better offensive coordinator while you’re at it.

  12. BigBlueDeadHead says: Jan 14, 2010 4:55 PM

    Nice. So they trade or cut all his good players over the past two years, watch Mayo get hurt weakening an already depleted Dee, then fired the guy for not doing as well this year. Makes sense.

  13. CptLeech says: Jan 14, 2010 4:55 PM

    Why the hell didn’t they do this sooner and then hire back Romeo? They also should have hired Weis back.

  14. BBrophy1 says: Jan 14, 2010 4:56 PM

    Al Groh’s price tag just went up

  15. leatherneck says: Jan 14, 2010 4:59 PM

    So the Patriots are looking for two coordinators now? Wasn’t BB the OC this season?

  16. Marv_Sleezy says: Jan 14, 2010 5:00 PM

    isnt krenell from within>?>?>?>?>?>?

  17. Herndiggler says: Jan 14, 2010 5:00 PM

    If I was that close to a horse’s weiner, I’d be more worried about gettin “pees’d” on

  18. mustbechris says: Jan 14, 2010 5:06 PM

    trading seymour was a great move, as long as belichick is acknowledging the fact that this is defense is in rebuilding mode and isn’t going to be championship-caliber (barring a spending spree…which is entirely possible) for a couple years.
    if it was a bad move for anyone, it’s the raiders. they traded a high 1st round pick for a 3-4 DE who is going to leave at the end of the season. this is a trade you make when your team is a contender. al davis is senile, and belichick took advantage of it. having the top 10 pick will pay off much more than having a DE who’s on the wrong side of 30.

  19. wilfork4food says: Jan 14, 2010 5:07 PM

    I think Pepper Johnson is more likely than Patricia

  20. jetermkt55 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:09 PM

    When was the last time the Patriots have fired anyone?

  21. PatsHatersRMorons! says: Jan 14, 2010 5:14 PM

    This is too bad for Pees who I think was a decent coordinator, but I don’t think he was the right guy to be running Belichick’s defense. They need some new voices on the coaching staff and somebody who can get these defensive players to stand up when it matters most. Should be interesting to see who they hire. Hopefully they don’t promote Patricia, he looks more like he belongs at a college fraternity party than on the sidelines as D Coord. Let’s get somebody established.

  22. Darkblue says: Jan 14, 2010 5:15 PM

    Thats what I call a start. But they need fresh blood and energy – lots of energy. Smart players and smart coaching is good enough for a winning record, but not enough for championships and big rings.
    I miss the hard hitting – feared by all – defense from 2001-2004 era. How many rings would Big Manning have if it was the same as the 2009 version??? 4-5?

  23. vcufan01 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:17 PM

    As Chris Ostreicher would say….”BOUT TIME!”
    This guy authored the 2nd-half collapse against the Colts and topped it with a 4th-quarter collapse against the Giants.
    He cost the Pats a chance at a bye with his horrendous defense in the 4th quarter this season. Good riddance.

  24. Rick says: Jan 14, 2010 5:22 PM

    How much better did Seymore make the Raiders? Seymore basically was replaced by Jarvis Green who would be a starter for 31 other teams in the NFL. The problem with the Pats D is they had ZERO outside pass rush, thank you Burgess and Thomas, Oh wait weren’t they two of the four sent home for being late. Makes you wonder what could have happened if they had better pass rushers on the outside. AND PLEASE GET A NEW PLAY CALLER BILL O’BRIEN SUCKS!!!

  25. mvlonergan says: Jan 14, 2010 5:23 PM

    Dick Jauron, Jim Bates — either of those guys would be a welcome addition. The Patriots need a guy with extensive NFL experience who would be willing to tell Belichick not to be an arrogant dillhole (e.g., going for it on fourth and two from the Patriots 28). The same goes for the offensive side of the ball. There are too many guys on that staff who owe their careers to Belichick. What made the team great from 2000-2005 (can’t count 2007; 18-1 is only good if the 1 isn’t from the Superbowl) is that a coaching staff with a ton of NFL experience wasn’t afraid to constructively criticize one another. Now what do they have? Only one impact LB drafted in the past 10 years, no impact CB since Samuel, no WRs drafted since Branch and Givens, average safeties, a bizarre dedication to Laurence Maroney as the lead back, and the list goes on and on. This team needs to turn it around ASAP. It’s personnel and coaching are a mess.

  26. Ross'sSweetMinus says: Jan 14, 2010 5:24 PM

    Look what happens when you can’t CHEAT ANYMORE! HAHA Douche Bags!

  27. Old Manny of the Mountains says: Jan 14, 2010 5:26 PM

    I’m not familiar with Patricia, but I know Pepper Johnson and I feel he’d command some respect as a defensive coordinator.
    Don’t be surprised if NE doesn’t announce anyone as the new D coordinator. They didn’t do it last year with the O coordinator. Speaking of O coordinator, when are they going to announce the firing of the Pats O coordinator?
    And how was Pees the D coordinator for the past 4 years? I thought Mangini was the coordinator before he left for the Jets job.
    The Pats have some serious signings that they have to take care of. I’ve heard a lot of talk about no salary cap means no salary floor and teams are going to spend less this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pats do just the opposite and spend big. They have many free agents on the roster they HAVE to re-sign. and with no salary cap, maybe Kraft will open up the wallet and load up the roster with talent for another run for the rings..
    what do you think?

  28. tj.52 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:27 PM

    Pees seemed like a good guy, but his defenses repeatedly came up short when it really counted. Look for Patricia or Johnson to take his place.
    Would have loved to see Romeo back, but its been 6 years and who knows how much fire he has left after his beatdown in Cleve-land. What the hell is a cleve, anyway?

  29. ampats says: Jan 14, 2010 5:27 PM

    Pepper Johnson

  30. LuvThatDirtyWatah says: Jan 14, 2010 5:28 PM

    Hasn’t been any firings ’round here in Foxboro in a long, long time.

  31. goetta-head says: Jan 14, 2010 5:28 PM

    The gene pool seems to be getting a little watered down up there in NE. Sounds like KY not MA

  32. svn says: Jan 14, 2010 5:29 PM

    his contract expires at the end of the month. so he is not being brought back..not fired.

  33. GobiasINC_1 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:30 PM

    You got rid of Pees!?! There’s always room for pees.

  34. daffy87 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:30 PM

    Belichick should just resign from the Patriots and go be the head coach in Kansas City and build them up.

  35. 02116 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:31 PM

    # kennethnoisewater says: January 14, 2010 4:53 PM
    how about getting a guy that can, you know, command respect

    Pepper Johnson once challenged Junior Seau to a fight in the parking lot, there’s your answer.

  36. Tomb says: Jan 14, 2010 5:31 PM

    Hmm…Belichick must not have liked what he saw around the league.
    Because if ANYBODY has enough footage of other D.C.’s to evaluate the talent…well…

  37. XLI says: Jan 14, 2010 5:34 PM

    The man’s name is Dean Pees.
    We should all at least give him the benefit of the doubt that he made it out of Elementary School alive with that moniker.
    Dean Pees… ha, that’s too easy.

  38. GRpatriot says: Jan 14, 2010 5:35 PM

    I hope they change the scheme and draft some pass rushers! The days of sitting back waiting for your opponent to make mistakes should be over…
    Pepper Johnson has played this D his entire career and has coached it too. When he gets in your face, you’ll be intimidated. Something that is lacking since Crennel left!
    Let’s see what BB does with the offense?

  39. blackglass says: Jan 14, 2010 5:37 PM

    How about we hire Mike Carrots?
    Get it? Pees and Carrots? Yeah, I suck, I know.

  40. cromartie says: Jan 14, 2010 5:39 PM

    Got to watch his work in the mid 1990s at Toledo.
    Still amazed he was able to fall this far up. He wasn’t any good then.

  41. Heinekenfun says: Jan 14, 2010 5:39 PM

    I heard from a Patriots ‘insider’ that Pees couldn’t even stop the door from hitting him on the way out…,

  42. rjgreen3 says: Jan 14, 2010 5:46 PM

    @kennethnoisewater
    NO ONE commands respect in new england but belicheat! the ONLY one other than him who gets respect up there is CRYBADY!

  43. tacious says: Jan 14, 2010 5:48 PM

    Maybe Holmgren will decide to go in another direction this weekend and fire his head coach… then the Patriots can bring Mangini back to run their defense!

  44. svn says: Jan 14, 2010 5:52 PM

    According to tom curran he stepped , did not get fired.

  45. jjplynch says: Jan 14, 2010 5:53 PM

    There’s always some chump who thinks he is so original with the “cheaters” comment. Its as dull as the guy I heard screaming for “Freebird” at the Springsteen concert.
    There’s always that old slogan;
    Give Pees a chance!
    But we need two things, a defense that can shut down opponents when the game is on the line, and Brady to hit more receivers.

  46. polishkingski says: Jan 14, 2010 5:58 PM

    it really makes you wonder…..i mean i don`t wanna get pothead deep here but what the hell is it that makes a coach a good coach? i mean these dudes are involved in the workings of an nfl organization so they gotta understand what their doin as far as what every other coach knows. here in buffalo perry fewell was considered a bad stop gap for jaron…..dick jaron! now he is about to get major coin from some other team. i have always said and never will stop saying it…..its the players, they are 95% of wether PRO TEAMS win or lose. i hope they stand strong in the ongoing contract talks. its obvious that the owners have the upper hand but the players have a unique situation here. yeah, their poor for the most part when they get a chance to be drafted but if they can stick together STICK TOGETHER they can win. people love pro ball and eventually they would win the publics support. ps- fxxk jerry jones

  47. Setobakura says: Jan 14, 2010 6:04 PM

    Pees got flushed

  48. StevieMo says: Jan 14, 2010 6:18 PM

    BB was pissed off at Pees because he couldn’t figure out how to work the top-double-secret hooded sweatshirt video cameras the team now uses to steal opponents’ signals. Poor sap.

  49. ejb says: Jan 14, 2010 6:41 PM

    good. finally some accountability

  50. DCViking says: Jan 14, 2010 7:02 PM

    Now they’ve got rid of Pees, is there any doubt that Poops is next???

  51. nflhof says: Jan 14, 2010 7:12 PM

    Do you think he had to take his video recording equipment with him too?

  52. FumbleNuts says: Jan 14, 2010 8:58 PM

    Come on Seattle, you SHOULD get Dean Pees ASAP!!

  53. Klytus says: Jan 14, 2010 9:58 PM

    This is unusual for the New England Patriots under Bill Bellichick. Bellichick’s success with assistants has been one of the hallmark’s of his tenure as coach. With the trade of Seymour, it was assumed this was a transitional year for the Patriots.
    GO STEELERS!

  54. ecaps says: Jan 14, 2010 11:04 PM

    Need to get someone to do the D. Coach has enough to do with finding a running back (nothing personal Mr. Maroney),
    and a wide out to go with Moss, when he wants to run the patterns

  55. Richm2256 says: Jan 15, 2010 9:38 AM

    StevieMo says:
    BB was pissed off at Pees because he couldn’t figure out how to work the top-double-secret hooded sweatshirt video cameras the team now uses to steal opponents’ signals. Poor sap.
    ————————————————
    Workin’ a little too hard at it, bud.
    All the funny lines have already been written long ago. Both of them.

  56. danlinker says: Jan 15, 2010 1:46 PM

    yeah, that’s it, it was his fault. BB dumps the good defensive players, and now it’s pees fault. Typical BB move.

  57. stanjam says: Jan 15, 2010 4:27 PM

    Good move. The Patriots defense is young but extremely smart and talented. The Patriots could not hold on to leads, and this was mostly because the defense sis not stay aggressive. They would back off when they SHOULD have gone for the kill.
    The thing that has been lacking in New England for years now has been talent at the coordinator positions. Get good coordinATORS!

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