The *Providence Journal *reports the Patriots will not hire a defensive coordinator to replace Dean Pees but rather head coach Bill Belichick will assume a larger role in the team's defense. "Titles are fine, nothing wrong with them," Belichick said in a statement on the team Web site Friday, "but the most important thing is each person's role, that we do everything we can to help the players succeed, everyone collectively getting the job done."
The team hired Corwin Brown as a defensive coach on Jan. 29 after he spent the last three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.
ESPN Boston *reports the Patriots have 12 players with expiring contracts. The team did sign WR Sam Aiken, LB Rob Ninkovich, T Nick Kaczur, LB Eric Alexander, OL Dan Connollyand T Mark LeVoir during the season, which decreases the unrestricted total. *Mike Reiss writes the team signed those players in preparing for an uncapped 2010 season.
Unrestricted free agents:
LB Tully Banta-Cain
CB Leigh Bodden
LB/DE Derrick Burgess
RB Kevin Faulk
DL Jarvis Green
P Chris Hanson
TE Benjamin Watson
NT Vince Wilfork
Sunday's Super Bowl taught Mike Reiss of *ESPN Boston *one thing in comparing Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.Click here to find out what it is.
Before the Super Bowl was underway, K Stephen Gostkowskishared his opinion on the matchup. "There are other teams that are good out there, but these two deserve to be there," said Gostkowski. "I'm from the South and everyone down there roots for the Saints. We play the Colts every year, so I guess if I'm leaning anywhere, I'd lean toward them. I have a hard time picking against Peyton Manning. I think the Colts will win, but I guess it would be nice to see a team that has never won it win it, kind of like the Patriots did in 2001."