The final result is the same, but former Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees wasn’t fired Thursday. Speaking to Tom Curran of Comcast Sports New England, Pees says he is walking away.
“I just chose not to return. My contract is up and I’ve chosen to pursue other opportunities.”
Pees was disappointed his departure was framed as a firing. The team hasn’t commented publicly on the matter.
It’s unclear if Pees’ opportunities will include coaching or not. The 60-year-old had health issues recently.
Names being thrown out as possible replacements for Pees include linebackers coach Matt Patricia, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, and Al Groh, who just interviewed with Miami. Groh worked in New England under Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick in Cleveland.
We’d say that a Bill vs. Bill showdown could be coming for Groh, but Belichick is usually more inclined to promote a younger staffer from within.
UPDATE: Pees released a statement through the team. “My contract with the New England Patriots will expire in a couple of weeks and
I have informed Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick that I will not seek to renew it.
“I enjoyed my time in New England, but feel this is the right time to pursue
other opportunities. I had the privilege of working with some great coaches and
great players over the past six seasons and leave the Patriots with some
wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. In addition to the players and
coaching staff, I want to thank the Kraft family, the media and the fans for all
of their support.”