Why Did Dean Pees Retire Then Become Titans DC? Conspiracy Theorists Are Out
The conspiracy theorists are out in full force.
That's because four weeks after former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees announced he was retiring from a 45-year coaching career, the Tennessee Titans have announced he's now their new defensive coordinator.
Fans find the timing curious, and are reading more into it after the Ravens' last two seasons ended with the defense surrendering playoff-killing touchdowns.
You can see where this is going …
"Begs the question of whether he was asked to retire," tweeted Press Box's Bo Smolka.
Everyone likes a juicy conspiracy theory, but … no.
The reporters that are plugged in with the Ravens on a daily basis have been hearing about Pees' impending retirement for more than a year. There were reports of it happening in early December when the Ravens were on a three-game winning streak and the defense was ranked in the top 10. Even Pees mentioned the possibility around the same time.
Actually, the idea of retirement came up long before the 2017 season even started. The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reports that Pees nearly hung it up after the 2016 season.
So, then why is Pees coming out of his four-week retirement?
My guess is Pees will answer those questions when he holds his first press conference in Tennessee. Until then, Zrebiec and WBAL's Gerry Sandusky speculated that it's because Pees has been offered a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to work with his son. Green Mountain High School has announced that their head coach, Matt Pees, will join the Titans staff.
Additionally, a former player in Mike Vrabel, who is a first-time head coach, desperately wants a defensive coordinator he can trust. After Pees was his coach for five years in New England, they share a special relationship.
Justin Forsett: Watching 'Shark Tank' Performance Was Like Watching Me Fumble
Former Ravens Pro Bowl running back Justin Forsett is using his experience on ABC's hit entrepreneurial show "Shark Tank" as a learning experience.
Forsett and his two partners, former teammates from Cal, were featured on Sunday's episode pitching their ShowerPill product to the "sharks." They asked for $300,000 in exchange for 10 percent equity stake in the company.
The sharks appeared impressed with the product, an extra-thick, premium wipe that works like a disposable washcloth, but they were concerned with the partners' inability to explain the company's financials.
"It sucks we didn't get a deal," Forsett told ESPN Monday. "Watching the episode last night was the first time my partners and me saw it. It was like watching a fumble that you had in a game and then watching it on film. It's disappointing. The growth of us as a company and businessmen has been ridiculous since then. We're taking it in stride."
The five sharks – Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Alex Rodriquez and Lori Greiner – were perplexed by how profitable the company was after asking questions about year-over-year growth and net sales. The trio struggled to provide clarity.
"I love the story, but [with] the three of them, someone has to know the numbers," Herjavec said.
Rodriquez advised the group to hire a CFO, and suggested it would make their company more investable. Forsett said the "nerves were real" and were a majority of the issue of stumbling with their sales pitch.
The episode was filmed six months ago, and Forsett said the company has grown since then. Their product is now in 200 locations of Crunch Fitness and is in Pharmaca, per ESPN. Forsett said they received $15,000 in sales a couple hours after the show aired.
"It was such a blessing. It was something that was needed," Forsett said. "That advice we got from the sharks ... it was like a bye week, when you get a chance to get a self-scouting report and learn what your strengths and weaknesses are. We want to be the best. We can't allow this thing to define [us], but refine us and make us better."
Bill Barnwell Projects Another Nine-Win Season for Ravens in 2018
The 2017 season isn't even over with the Super Bowl scheduled to be played Sunday.
That means the 2018 roster construction hasn't even begun, so we have little idea of how successful teams will be next season. But that's not stopping ESPN's Bill Barnwell from projecting the win totals for all 32 teams next year.
"We don't know who will retire, where players will end up in free agency or who will end up drafting who when," he wrote. "All of that is true, but it doesn't make guessing or projecting any less fun."
With all that in mind, Barnwell envisions a second consecutive season with the Ravens finishing with a 9-7 record.
"Nine wins weren't enough to get the 2017 Ravens into the playoffs, with a 1-4 record in games decided by seven points or less keeping out the league's seventh-best team by DVOA," Barnwell wrote.
"Baltimore's 10.4-win Pythagorean expectation suggests it is likely to improve in 2018, but can a defense still stocked with post-peak players force 34 takeaways again? The Ravens also caught an easy schedule in 2017 with the AFC South and an Aaron Rodgers-less NFC North; they get the AFC West and the NFC South next season."
In the video below, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says he believes the Ravens aren't that far off from returning to the playoffs, and says getting over the hump may be as little as getting another receiver in the offseason or Joe Flacco making a play or two more.
"It's a very small fine line, and I think they're right there," Rapoport says.