In news that could affect the Patriots’ search for a defensive coordinator, the Broncos and Mike Nolan parted ways today. The Broncos joined several teams looking for a defensive coordinator, and this move potentially brings some variables into play for the Patriots.
If Bill Belichick is planning to hire from within, the job will go to linebackers coach Matt Patricia or, less likely, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson. In a bit of apparent speculation, the guys at Pro Football Talk call recently resigned Dean Pees “the most obvious” candidate to replace Nolan because of Pees’s ties to former Patriots offensive coordinator and current Denver head coach Josh McDaniels.
Here’s some more speculation: Say Belichick hires either Patricia or Johnson as the Patriots coordinator and Pees chooses to stay out of football. The Patriots defensive staffer not promoted could then become a candidate to join their former Patriots coaching staff member in Denver, elevating his status in the process.
Until all of the defensive coordinator dust settles, it will be interesting to watch it all play out.