It is quite possible the Patriots will hire within the organization for their next defensive coordinator. Current defensive line coach Pepper Johnson is an in-house name that could fill the void left by Dean Pees. NT Vince Wilforksaid that Johnson is the type of coach he wants to play for according to ESPN Boston because of his passionate, energetic, and straight-forward nature. The story adds he is a fiery person that is a "potential hire in a Rex Ryan-type way."
ESPN Boston reports that RB Kevin Faulk was a nominee for the NFL Man of the Year award. The award is given to the player that best represents off-the-field dedication to community service. Redskins LB London Fletcher, Browns WR Mike Furrey, and Chiefs G Brian Waters are the three finalists for the award. Each NFL team selects one player from their team as a possible recipient before it's narrowed down to the final trio. The winner will be announced on Super Bowl Sunday.
Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Brandon McGowan, and Pat Chung are discussed in a safety positional review for the 2009 Patriots from *ESPN Boston. *According to the story, Meriweather was "too up-and-down to be a Pro Bowl player." For example, his third-and-1 stop against the Jaguars was a defensive top-play while "his breakdown in fundamentals contributed to Ray Rice's backbreaking 83-yard touchdown run on the first play of the playoff game against the Ravens." Meriweather also played more snaps than any other defender at 95.5 percent. McGowan got the starting nod over Sanders to start the season but Sanders claimed it back when "McGowan couldn't sustain the momentum" later in the season. Chung was the team's first pick in the 2009 draft (34th overall) and received the most playing time between games 6 and 11. He saw 20 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie.
Click here to read why Sunday was "a second-and-long situation in New England."
How will the Patriots get back on top? Get a sufficient pass rush according to The Telegraph. Getting pressure on the quarterback is what the Ravens did to Tom Brady, the Jets to Phillip Rivers, and the Vikings to Tony Romo. That is the "way you win in the NFL these days" according to the story.