It came as a surprise to many Ravens fans when rumors started heating up about Dean Pees becoming the new defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, especially since he had just announced his retirement on January 1. Less than a month later, he was officially announced as the Titans defensive coordinator, on January 29.
Pees served as defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens for six years. In those six years, he enjoyed three top ten defenses and a Super Bowl victory. Fans, however, were tired of the defenses tendency, under Pees, to blow leads late in the fourth quarter of games.
Speculation began to swirl on if Pees had really wanted to retire or was pushed out by John Harbaugh or Steve Bisciotti. Mike Preston of The Baltimore Sun has the details of why he decided to come out of retirement not even a month later.
“One week after I retired I had gotten an offer to coach and I turned it down,” said Pees. “I had already spoken with the officials at Medicare, talked with the NFL about my pension and had planned the move. We were ready to move our stuff to our retirement home in Michigan,” He added. “Then I got a call from Mike Vrabel and he kept calling and calling. When I was sitting in the office, I kept missing the game more and more. It got to the point where I finally knew I missed it and told him ‘Yes, I’d do it.’ “
Mike Vrabel was named the new head coach of the Titans after they decided to part ways with Mike Mularkey, something Pees thought would not happen, following a lopsided loss to the Patriots in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Pees coached Vrabel during his time with the New England Patriots. The two had built a strong friendship over the five years spent together.
“Those were great years in Baltimore and with John Harbaugh. We had a unique relationship because I had coached John and it was great to turn around and work for him. It’s the same thing with Mike. I coached him the whole time when he was in New England and now get the same privilege,” Pees said.
“I was sitting there thinking, the frozen tundra in Michigan or Nashville, the tundra or Nashville, and I chose Nashville,” said Pees. “I’ll never forget those eight great years in Baltimore and there were a lot of great memories, except for two plays. I won’t forget that interception in the Super Bowl, but I won’t forget those two plays in the last two seasons, either. ”
Pees was able to find a position for his son, Matt, on the staff as well. Matt was hired as a quality control assistant.
“I had already taken the job before Matt was hired and would have done so without them hiring him,” Pees added. “But this is the right situation at the right time. I get to coach with my son and how many people get to work with their children in the same profession? He has a wife and child, has worked hard and this is a great opportunity for him. And just think, I really was done. This opportunity just came across at the right time.”
Read Preston’s full article here.