Even the best teams aren’t immune to changes this offseason.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, longtime Bill Belichick aide Pepper Johnson won’t be back with the team next season.
Johnson, who played linebacker for Belichick with the Giants and Browns, has been coaching under his old boss since 2000.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise, to say the least, given the long history between the two.
UPDATE 11:04 A.M. ET: Johnson has issued a statement, again via Reiss, though it fails to explain the reason for the split.
“I could never have asked for a better coach/boss/friend in those 26 years,” he said of Belichick. “Thanks for always supporting me and I know Bill will continue to support me no matter what.
“Thank you New England Patriot fans; I will miss you the most.”