With Dean Pees gone, the focus now shifts to the two likeliest candidates to replace him as Patriots defensive coordinator: Matt Patricia and Pepper Johnson.



I was at a party over the holidays where someone raised one of those deep, existential questions that only seem to come up late at night after polishing off a couple of plastic bottles of discount store-brand scotch and a cheese ball with the size (and destructive power) of the Death Star. And that question was:



JERRY THORNTON

BIO | ARCHIVE


Remember a few years ago, when fans and pigskin “pundits” and even a certain quarterback, not satisfied by winning titles every year, clamored for a big-name wide receiver? ’Member that?



KERRY BYRNE

BIO | ARCHIVE


FOXBORO — For the Patriots, it was a sobering Monday morning.

Less than 24 hours after their playoff defeat to Baltimore, a relatively muted locker room was crowded with garbage bags and moving boxes as the franchise started its offseason with talk of missed opportunities and open speculation about what comes next.



FOXBORO — When it came to the postseason, it was a walk that had seen a lot of misery.



As you watched Tom Brady run off the field after his touchdown pass to Randy Moss that gave the Patriots a 14-10 lead with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII, you were witnessing a man at the absolute peak of his greatness.



KIRK MINIHANE

BIO | ARCHIVE


FOXBORO — Size matters.



FOXBORO — There’s an added sense of urgency that comes with postseason football.

The magnitude of every dropped pass or each missed block is magnified tenfold — instead of a loss, it could mean the end of your season. On the other hand, a fortunate bounce or perfectly executed play at the right time can make you a legend. 



FOXBORO — When Tom Brady talks about playoff football, people listen.



The AFC playoff contingent this year is harder to read than Bill Belichick’s game face. Did he just beat the Colts for the AFC title, or did he just lose his top receiver to a catastrophic knee injury?

Damned if we know, at least not this year.



KERRY BYRNE

BIO | ARCHIVE