Report: Patriots join D coordinator hunt

The Miami Dolphins might have some competition in searching for a new defensive coordinator.

Providence Journal beat writer Shalise Manza Young reports the New England Patriots have fired defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who was hospitalized with shortness of breath during the Patriots loss to the Houston Texans in the regular-season finale.

Three of the AFC East's four teams are in need of a defensive coordinator. The Dolphins fired Paul Pasqualoni on Monday. The Buffalo Bills basically don't have any coaches, and interim coach/defensive coordinator Perry Fewell reportedly is choosing between the Chicago Bears and New York Giants.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday the Dolphins interviewed Al Groh, the longtime associate of Dolphins football operations chief Bill Parcells.

But Groh also has close ties with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. They served together under Parcells with the New York Giants, New England Patriots and New York Jets. Groh also was on Belichick's staff with the Cleveland Browns.

The Patriots ranked 11th in total defense and fifth in scoring defense, allowing 17.8 points a game.