NASHVILLE, Tenn — Less than a month after officially announcing his retirement, Dean Pees is expected to join coach Mike Vrabel’s staff as defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. The hiring of Pees, 68, has not yet been confirmed by Tennessee after the story of Pees’s hiring was broken by Autumn Sereno, assistant principal and athletic director of Green Mountain High School in Lakewood, Colorado.
Yes, you did read that correctly.
Once a Ram, Always a Ram: #RamNation would like to wish Coach Matt Pees the best as he takes a job as a defensive coach with the Tennessee Titans! Please see the following letter from AD Autumn Sereno regarding the hiring process for a new Football Coach. @JeffcoAthletics pic.twitter.com/mCt4mXOJJh
— Green Mountain HS (@GMHSRams) January 30, 2018
In a letter to the “Green Mountain community”, Sereno made public the news that Green Mountain football coach Matt Pees would be leaving his position with the school immediately to join his father Dean, who accepted the Titans defensive coordinator position. While unconventional in it’s unofficial announcement, the move of Pees (Dean, that is) to the Titans was not unexpected.
A coaching veteran of 45 years, Pees announced his retirement from the Baltimore Ravens staff, where he spent six seasons running the defense, one day after the team’s season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, citing his desire to spend more time with family. Baltimore’s defense finished in the Top 10 in three of those six campaigns and was instrumental in a 34-31 Super Bowl XLVII victory with a goal-line stand on the final play of the game. In 2017, the Ravens shut out opponents a league-leading three times and had the most takeaways in the NFL (33). Baltimore’s plus-17 turnover margin was also a league best.
It is through further New England Patriots connections, however, that Tennessee lands its newest coordinator.
Pees was Vrabel’s position coach in New England from 2004 to 2005, a season in which they won a Super Bowl, before taking over the Pats defense from 2006 to 2008. The opportunity to work with his son and Pees’s relationship with Vrabel appear to have been enough to coax him back into the NFL. He inherits a unit formerly led by football legend Dick LeBeau that finished 25th in passing defense, fourth against the rush and 17th in points allowed.
LeBeau was not retained by Vrabel after three seasons in Tennessee.