Just got off the phone with Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and here’s the crux of what happened: Pees met with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and, with his contract expiring, decided to step down as defensive coordinator.
“I’ve chosen not to return,” Pees said. “I’m not retiring, although I might. I need some time to think about what I’m going to do. It could be a bunch of things. But I’m not leaving to go to a specific job. I need some time to see where we’re at. I don’t think it’s retirement, but I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Pees, 60, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent surgery over the summer. Soon thereafter, he had a blood clot in his leg. He’s now cancer-free, but had bronchial spasms – which have all the symptoms of a heart attack – that caused a scare in the coaches’ booth during the regular-season finale in Houston, and he was hospitalized.
“I think the only way that really plays into this is the fact that you feel like you’re having a heart attack,” Pees told me. “You feel a lot of things when that happens. I had so many tests, and I have a healthy heart.”
Pees was appreciative to the Patriots organization for all they’ve done over the last few months.
“It’s time for my wife and I to just sit back now, and not commit to anything,” Pees said. “I want to be fair to New England because of how well the Patriots have treated me. I had some reservations, and to be fair to everyone, this had to be done.”