Paul Kenyon wonders if Belichick will give Matt Patricia the defensive coordinator title this year.
One item worth following between now and the beginning of next season will be whether Belichick gives Matt Patricia the title of defensive coordinator. It was not until late in the season when Belichick acknowledged that Patricia was calling the defensive signals. In theory, at least, Belichick has kept the title of defensive coordinator for himself. Patricia, who played his football at Rensselaer Poly Tech in New York, has been with the Patriots for eight years. He has worked his way up from offensive assistant, to assistant offensive line coach, the linebackers coach and this past season as safeties coach.
Even if he decides to give Patricia the title of defensive coordinator, there is no doubt that Belichick will remain heavily involved with the defense, as he is with the entire organization. The coach turns 60 in April, but has shown no indication of slowing down.
Glen Farley says with free agency a little more than a month away, the Patriots are in good shape to participate.
According to league-wide figures compiled by Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Patriots are currently at a salary cap figure of $101.887,741. That’s eighth lowest in the NFL, giving them $20 million or more of wiggle room under the projected 2012 limit of $121-$125 million.
It goes without saying that a portion of team owner Robert Kraft’s bank account will be needed to retain Wes Welker’s services. If the two sides are unable to come to terms, the franchise tag at wide receiver would cost the Patriots $9.4 million.
There is also a need to upgrade the supporting cast at a position where Deion Branch is also a free agent (and, if retained, would best serve as the third option). Also – news flash! – the team isn’t about to pay Chad Ochocinco $3 million in base salary to return in 2012.
- Patriots Today - Painful transition on tap for Pats. (3.26 min. video)
- Timeline: The Evolution of the NFL. (1 min. clip)
- Tom E. Curran says the Patriots are 'primed' to make another run at a Super Bowl.
- Mike Reiss explores how the Patriots will approach contract negotiations with Wes Welker.
- Mike Reiss notes Wes Welker is ranked 18th on Pete Prisco's Top 50 free agents list.
- Christopher Price breaks down and rates the 53-man roster. Part 1.
- Jeff Howe reviews the running back position and sees a bright outlook for 2012.
- Jeff Howe reviews the wide receivers and says this position could look drastically different in New England next season.
- Glen Farley believes the Patriots must address pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball.
- Tom E. Curran explains why these Patriots don't deserve the level of bile being directed at them.
- Ian Rapoport notes why Josh McDaniels' father Thom was a conflicted man watching the Super Bowl, with players he coached on both teams.
- Christopher Price tells us which New England defenders did the best job of getting after the QB in the postseason.
- Mike Reiss tallies up the snaps played by defenders in Super Bowl XLVI and analyzes what it means.
- Christopher Price looks at who was Tom Brady's favorite and most dependable target this past postseason.
- Christopher Price breaks down the Patriots penalties for the 2011 postseason.
- Hector Longo lists five fatal flaws the Pats need to fix.
- Jeff Howe thinks Robert Kraft and the city of Boston should make a serious play to host a Super Bowl.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
- Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Soundbites from players mic'd up during the Super Bowl; Gronkowski is still catching flak for partying after the loss.
- James Walker (ESPN) Playing tag in AFC East.
- Gene Wojciechowski (ESPN) Bill Belichick remains his verbose self.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) On Brady and scapegoats.
- Bill Reiter (Fox Sports) Patriots way heading down rocky path.
- Don Banks (SI) 10 big questions this offseason.
- Steve Wyche (NFL.com) Twelve enticing storylines to follow in 2012.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Manning saga, questions about Patriots headline offseason storylines.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Ten-point stance: Peyton as a free agent still won't top Reggie circus; more.
- Sam Farmer (LA Times) With Super Bowl over, NFL's focus returns to that other Manning and more.
- Stephen Dubner (NFL.com) Football Freakonomics: Dough Bowl Awards.
- Bill Plaschke (LA Times) For the pro athlete, it's just a job.
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Top 50 free agents: Former top pick Williams is top player on open market.
- James Walker (ESPN) Even ref had no faith in Patriots' defense.
- Offseason training is crucial for NFL players. (Nat'l Football Post)