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Dean Pees Becomes Tennessee's Defensive Coordinator

Posted Jan 30, 2018

After briefly retiring this offseason, Dean Pees has decided to join Mike Vrabel’s staff with the Tennessee Titans.

Dean Pees has decided to make his retirement short-lived.

The long-time defensive coordinator announced his retirement earlier this month after a 45-year coaching career, but he’s decided to jump back in by becoming the Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator, the Titans announced Tuesday.

Tennessee’s new Head Coach Mike Vrabel has a relationship with Pees from the five seasons that the defensive coordinator coached him in New England. Vrabel enjoyed the best stretch of his career under Pees, including an All-Pro season in 2007.

Vrabel recruited Pees to Tennessee after parting ways with veteran Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau, who is widely regarded as one of the best defensive minds in NFL history. Vrabel was hired by the Titans on Jan. 20 after Tennessee fired Head Coach Mike Mularkey.

Pees’ son, Matt, will also join the Titans staff as an assistant coach.

“Dean brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to our staff,” Vrabel said in a statement from the Titans. “I have seen first-hand how he teaches and develops from our time together and I wanted to bring that same experience to our players here."

This marks the second consecutive job in which Pees will work for one of his former players, as he also coached John Harbaugh as a college student at Miami University.

Pees, 68, spent eight seasons in Baltimore. He was initially hired as the linebackers coach and then took over as the defensive coordinator in 2012, the year they won Super Bowl XLVII. He has coached in the NFL for the last 15 years and is going into his 11th season as a defensive coordinator.

With Pees at the helm, Baltimore’s defense ranked No. 12 overall in yards per game last year, but sixth in points per game (18.9). The Ravens also led the NFL in takeaways (33) last season.

The Ravens promoted Wink Martindale to defensive coordinator when Pees announced his retirement. Harbaugh and veteran players in Baltimore’s locker room all spoke glowingly about Martindale when he received the promotion. 

“His aggressive mentality will serve to take our defense to new levels,” Harbaugh said about Martindale. “He is obviously respected by players, many of whom have already benefited from his direct coaching at the linebacker position. He knows the ins and outs of what we have been about on defense."

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