Pees worked closely with secondary

In factoring how Bill Belichick will reorganize his defensive staff and fill the team's defensive coordinator void with Dean Pees not returning, one aspect to keep in mind is how responsibilities were divided during the 2009 season.

"Dean would always be in the room with us, as far as helping to coach the d-backs," said cornerback Leigh Bodden. "I liked him a lot and thought he was a good coach. It's easy to play hard for a guy you like."

It makes sense that Pees would often break down with the defensive backs, adding a veteran coaching voice to the room with up-and-coming Josh Boyer, who was in his first year as secondary coach. Meanwhile, Matt Patricia was in his fourth year as linebackers coach and Pepper Johnson was in his sixth year as defensive line coach.

This doesn't necessarily mean that Belichick will be looking to add a coach with secondary expertise, but knowing that the Patriots leaned on Pees in the defensive backs room adds another layer to consider in any staff shuffling.