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Belichick to play bigger role in New England's defense

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick will take a larger role in overseeing the defense and not hire a coordinator to replace Dean Pees.

"Titles are fine, nothing wrong with them," Belichick said in a statement on the team Web site Friday, "but the most important thing is each person's role, that we do everything we can to help the players succeed, everyone collectively getting the job done."

Pees announced he would not seek a new contract as defensive coordinator four days after the Patriots lost 33-14 to the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs last month. His four-year deal expired at the end of January.

The Patriots hired Corwin Brown as a defensive coach on Jan. 29. He spent the past three seasons as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.

"Corwin Brown is one of the high-class people in football," Belichick said. "He was a tough, smart leader who was great to coach and those are the traits he brings to our staff."

Belichick was defensive coordinator for the New York Giants from 1985-90 and for New England in 1996. He called defensive signals for the New York Jets from 1997-99 before becoming coach of the Patriots in 2000.

The Patriots have been without an offensive coordinator since Josh McDaniels left after the 2008 season to coach the Denver Broncos. Quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien handled much of the play-calling in 2009.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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