September 20, 2017

Game Ball – DC Dean Pees

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Say what you want about New England beating a scoring-challenged Buffalo team, no one deserves the coveted PD Game Ball more than defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

Pees’ defensive line put the D in depleted, as Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren and Myron Pryor all missed the trip due to injuries. After an opening series where Buffalo pounded the ball (including five straight runs by Fred Jackson totaling 24 yards), Pees made a few adjustments. That, and a Bills tendency to implode with penalties, tempered the Bills rushing attack.

Most of all, though, Pees gets credit for implementing what we’re calling the cocktail party defense: on passing downs, New England forewent down linemen for a cluster of linebackers loitering around the line of scrimmage. The look confused the home team’s inexperienced offensive line and opened the gates for the visitors’ best sack production of the year (Tully Banta-Cain had three all by his lonesome).

We have heard (and seen) how this defense lacks the playmakers of Pats yore. In the face of this leadership void, we enjoyed watching certain players respond Sunday, including standout performances by Mike Wright (six tackles, one sack), Derrick Burgess (six tackles, one sack) and Banta-Cain (six tackles, three sacks).

So, Coach Pees, for adding a few positive twists to a team that needed them, we award you this week’s game ball.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]


  1. You know what – that’s a great choice! The D limiting the Bills to 3 points on the first drive was huge – the first drive is the most prepared/planned drive of the day, since teams have all week to prepare for it.

    It looked like trouble, but Pees and Co. made the adjustments accordingly. Granted, the last TD was avoidable, but it really should have been a consolation score for the Bills at that time (“take a lap” award coming for Mr. Pees peer running the O?)

    Buffalo is a weak team, and they were kept to 10 points, accordingly. I have to say, I LOVED the no-lineman look. For the first time this season, the Pats D looked dynamic, attacking. It won’t work against all teams, but it did against this one. Well done.

  2. The Pats limited the Bills to 3 points on the first drive because they were helped by a Bills false start penalty.

    • That’s all a part of the game! A lot of fans say “yeah, if..”

      Well, its all a part of the performance, execution, whatever you want to call it. You can’t hold, can’t false start – that’s all a part of the game, IMO. If it was a bad call by the ref, then that’s a different story.

  3. This is a good choice.

    I’ve been hard on Pees the last few years. I don’t think he’s aggressive enough in going after the QB, for one thing.

    However, I also realize that his General Manager (who also happens to be his boss on the sidelines) hasn’t exactly given him much talent to work with since Pees got the job when Rat Boy left for New York in 2006. He signed Adalius Thomas and drafted Merriweather in the first round in 2007; drafted Mayo in the first round in 2008; and spent a lot of 2nd’s, 3rd’s and 4th’s on defensive backs and new interior linemen the last couple of years.

    But the fact is that BB rode his aging vets for too long on defense and he didn’t begin rebuilding it until it was already near collapse. Pees actually got a lot out of the geriatric squads the team fielded in 2006-2007. In fact, had Rosie Colvin not been injured in ’07, Pees would be known as the defensive coordinator on the only 19-0 (so far) team in NFL history.

    I’ve probably been a bit too hard on him given the talent void he’s inherited, so kudos to him for a job well done yesterday.

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