Let’s cut to the chase. Since Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees was promoted to the position in 2012, the defense has had issues being creative in the way it brings pressure to the quarterback and the offensive line in passing situations. It late game situations, the defense has crumbled in the last five seasons.
Since 2012, the Ravens have lost 15 games in which they had the lead in the fourth quarter and some of those games cost the Ravens a playoff spot whether you are talking about the 2013 season when the Ravens finished 8-8 or this season. This issue sustaining leads is not a coincidence, it is a pattern. The Ravens defense has had a nice rebound season compared to last year but it still isn’t good enough.
If the Ravens decide to keep Pees for another season, fine. But if the Ravens are going to keep him, the team needs to scrap the 3-4 defense, and move to a 4-3. Pees is not creative enough as a defensive coordinator to disguise coverage’s which is clear when the Ravens have lost 15 games in which they had a lead in the fourth quarter since 2012. It doesn’t look like Pees is creative enough running a 2-4-5 defense the way the Ravens have been doing in the last few weeks either.
A 4-3 defense fits the style that Pees wants to play which is pretty vanilla in general. Too many times in late game situations do we see defensive linemen like Brandon Williams and Lawrence Guy try to provide a pass rush when they are run stopping linemen. At this point, the team would be better served drafting 4-3 speed rushers off the edge. The Ravens already play variations of the 4-3 not to mention the Timmy Jernigan would probably benefit the most from it. And when you factor in Michael Pierce who has provided a good pass rush in the interior at times despite weighing 339 pounds and you already have the ingredients in the front four of the defense.
Regardless, there needs to be a change whether Pees is here or not. There used to be a time where NFL teams would flock to Baltimore and take Ravens defensive assistants away and hire them to be head coaches. Have you noticed that hasn’t happened in the last few years? Could it be that NFL teams see that the defense is not what it used to be? I think so and that should be alarming to the Ravens organization.