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McDaniels: Pees never a serious candidate for Denver job

03.01.10 at 12:00 am ET
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INDIANAPOLIS ‘€” When Dean Pees left the Patriots earlier this past offseason (reports differ as to whether he jumped or was pushed overboard after six years in New England, the last four as defensive coordinator), it was just a matter of time before he was linked to the vacant defensive coordinators’€™ position in Denver.

On the surface, it seemed like a natural move: Mike Nolan had left the Broncos defensive coordinator job for the same position in Miami. McDaniels and Pees were together on the New England staff from 2004 to 2008, and it was believed the two got along well together when they were together with the Patriots.

But this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said Pees was never a serious candidate for the Denver job. Instead, it was a case of people putting two and two together and ending up with five.

‘€œI had a relationship with Dean, obviously, in New England,’€ McDaniels said. ‘€œI think it was just a case where he was kind of out there, available, we had an opening and people seemed to connect the dots, probably mistakenly. Most of that conversation, there was no fruit to it.’€

Instead, the Broncos decided to promote from within, elevating the popular linebackers coach Don ‘€œWink’€ Martindale to the position of defensive coordinator. (Pees ended up as the linebackers coach in Baltimore.) It was a move some people believed was sparked after the players’€™ lobbied heavily for Martindale.

‘€œWe didn’€™t make any decisions based on that, but always the input from your players is something you would consider because their input obviously matters to us, what they think about a coach’€™s ability in their room is critical,’€ McDaniels said. ‘€œThey provided great insight, some of which I knew, some of which I didn’€™t.

‘€œWe’€™re excited, we’€™re excited about the direction we’€™re going to go.’€

Read More: Dean Pees, Josh McDaniels, Mike Nolan, NFL Combine
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