Patriots

Tedy Bruschi celebrates Dean Pees' retirement with awesome throwback photo

Tedy Bruschi celebrates Dean Pees' retirement with awesome throwback photo

Dean Pees' second (and final?) retirement made a few of his former players nostalgic Tuesday.

The Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator announced Monday he's calling it quits after 47 years in coaching, 12 of which came in the NFL.

Pees' first NFL job came with the New England Patriots, who hired him as their linebackers coach in 2004 before promoting him to defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2009.

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Pees' linebacking corps helped the Patriots win a Super Bowl in 2004, so to commemorate his retirement, ex-Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi dug up an awesome old photo of that unit.

That's quite the formidable group, featuring the likes of Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Ted Johnson and current Titans coach Mike Vrabel.

Here's the full roll call from Bruschi's 2004 photo (seemingly taken before Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville) from left to right:

Ryan Izzo, Rosevelt Colvin, Matt Chatham, Tully Banta-Cain, Willie McGinest, Roman Phifer, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Don Davis and Ted Johnson.

That 2004 group spearheaded a dominant Patriots defense that allowed just 16.3 points per game (second-fewest in the NFL) and powered New England to a 14-2 regular season record.

McGinest also showed love for Pees, sharing Bruschi's photo along with a longer note for his former coach:

Current Patriots players may be equally happy to see Pees step down. The 70-year-old coach helped bounce New England from the playoffs on three separate occasions: twice with the Baltimore Ravens in 2010 and 2013 and once with the Titans in this year's AFC Wild Card Round.

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

Over the past 20 years, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest and most beloved athletes in Boston sports history.

But if Brady leaves New England for a new team in free agency this offseason, would that leave a stain on his Patriots legacy? Fellow Boston sports legend David Ortiz doesn't believe so.

The former Red Sox slugger recently spoke with Rob Bradford of WEEI.com about Brady's impending free agency. According to Ortiz, leaving Foxboro behind ahead of his age-43 season won't take away from anything Brady has accomplished with the Pats in the past two decades.

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"His legacy has already been built. It’s always there," Ortiz told Bradford. "That’s not the problem. His problem is not going to be legacy. He could go and play somewhere else for the next 10 years when he returns to New England his legacy is going to be there.

"It’s a good thing to do but you also have to look at your options. I hope he stays with the Patriots, but it’s not up to what I say. It’s his decision. Sometimes an offer at home might be a couple of million less than what you could get on the road. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it."

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent if he and Patriots don't agree to a contract extension by March 18. Several teams are expected to be in the mix to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, with the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as two of the most likely destinations.

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