September 25, 2017

Pees Unleashed

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees had his chance the meet the press yesterday, and Mike Reiss of the Globe has our Feature of the Day on Pees’ presser.

I don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but Pees speaks so openly about the team’s plans that it feels (relatively) like he’s giving away state secrets. I had to keep checking to make sure the quotes were attributed to him, and not “sources close to the team.” Does Belichick know this guy is out here talking to people? Did he OK this? Is it all right for us to be hearing this?

Pees talked freely about the team’s thinking in regard to Adalius Thomas (he’ll play inside to start before his versatility is more fully explored; was Butch Stearns there to rebut?), Eugene Wilson (he’s a safety, not a corner) and rookie Brandon Meriweather (he’s a corner, not a safety). Criminy, Pees even talked about a Player Who Isn’t Here (Asante Samuel). 

In the end, Pees didn’t tell you anything you wouldn’t have figured out for yourself anyway, but his matter of fact confirmation of the defense’s early direction still feels like – again, relatively speaking – like an informant singing like a canary.


Meanwhile, the official ‘training camp’ portion of the pre-season is winding down. Your other headlines are here, per usual, at

Spill it here, Pees!


  1. One player Pees didn’t talk much about was back at practice. I learned last night from Steve Burton that Junior Seau has returned to full contact drills. Steve, who learned at the wobbly knee of Propmaster Props Bob Lobel, held up a red “don’t touch me” jersey…on the air… with the number “55” taped on the back to illustrate that Junior wasn’t wearing the thing that Steve was waving around…on the air. Whether that was actually Junior’s jersey or not, and if so how Steve obtained it, we can only speculate. The mind wanders, though, to the NFL Authentic ad campaign with the guy emerging from the dirty hamper with a freshly-worn gamer.

    By the way, I’d like more of the coordinators/assistants last names to be verbs. It gives us fans a sense of an organization that’s on the move. We’re flowin’, baby!

  2. Weak Side for Life!! says:

    One thing with Thomas playing inside: Bruschi often looked a step slow last year, and now Thomas is playing strong side with Bruschi on weak side. Any thoughts on that? Taking away the tight end responsibility and giving Tedy a more free position might help cover a decline in speed.

  3. Mike Greenberg with Michael Smith today went the route of questioning whether the Jets/Pats approach to openness on injuries actually provided latent opportunities for gambling impropriety. He had me for a minute until I realized all that matters is whether a guy is going to play or not (rather than the details on the injury) and the Pats/Jets play it straight on that.

    On another note, any chance Matt Cassel gets cut?

  4. Pees was HC of a fairly high profile (if losing) program at Kent State, so he should know his way around a presser. I am sure BB was not surprised by Pees’s comments. BTW, has the NFL mandated that coordinators be made available to the media at least once during training camp, kind of like when they make the SB coordinators speak to the press during media circus day?

  5. To be clear, I wasn’t suggesting that Belichick would be surprised in any way by Pees’s comments, or wouldn’t be okay with them. I just thought it was funny how direct Pees was about their thinking, such as with Thomas. I doubt you’d ever see Belichick be that direct about what his plans may be. Just a difference in style.

  6. Do you think Pees will be fired or suspended for speaking out against the Ogre’s (BB’s) wishes?

  7. To Ben’s question: As far as Cassel goes, I guess I would be pretty surprised if he was cut to be replaced by a veteran, though I guess you never know. As I mentioned over the weekend, I’m wondering if he hadn’t ought to be showing a little better command by now, especially in the pocket, but he’s played less than almost anyone in his position, and I wonder if I’m being unrealistic and/or impatient. I haven’t heard a peep from anyone that the Pats may be looking to upgrade the backup position, for whatever that’s worth. He should get plenty of reps this pre-season, so we should have a better idea in the next few weeks as to whether he’s going to start showing a little more than athleticism.

  8. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    Amen, re: Cassel. I’m not saying the guy’s a stiff, but I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by what I’ve seen so far. Conversely, I was pleasantly surprised by the adroitness Gutierrez showed (similar to my lack of adroitness in spelling players’ names, I’m sure). I’m not christening him the second coming of “Snake” Stabler, yet, but I was cheered by what I saw from him on Friday. But I still think there’s got to be a spot for Vinny.

  9. Boston Dan says:

    “Do you think Pees will be fired or suspended for speaking out against the Ogre’s (BB’s) wishes?”

    Do really think that he did it against BB’s wishes? When was the last time than any coach did anything that wasn’t part of the master plan?

  10. Boston Dan says:

    This is great stuff from Pees about Thomas, Wilson and Meriweather and he confirms what we know about Vrabel being much better suited for the outside.

  11. I was joking about Pees!

  12. No, Greg….everybody knows you were serious.

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