Pepper Johnson will not return to the Patriots in 2014 as the team's linebackers coach, according to a report by ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss.
Johnson's statement to ESPN Boston read in part:
I thank the entire New England Patriot Organization for the last 13 years of my life. I am proud of all the things we have accomplished. The Kraft family is one of a kind and I will always be grateful to them and hold them in the highest regard. Bill Belichick and I have been working together in some capacity for 26 years and I am who I am because of it. To have five Super Bowl rings (2 as a player 3 as a coach) and all of them with Bill has been a blessing. I could never have asked for a better coach/boss/friend in those 26 years. Thanks for always supporting me and I know Bill will continue to support me no matter what.
Thank you New England Patriot fans I will miss you the most.
Johnson joined the Patriots during the 2000 season as an assistant linebackers coach. He coach Patriots defensive linemen for eight seasons before taking over the role of linebackers coach for the last two seasons.