Dean Pees Named One of NFL’s Top Coordinators


Jan 24, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees at Team Carter practice for the 2015 Pro Bowl at Scottsdale Community College. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens fans have known for a few years now just how good of a defensive coordinator Dean Pees is.  2014 put an exclamation point on those feelings as Pees navigated one of the most ridiculous injury situations in the NFL to patch together a secondary filled with cast-offs and come seriously close to another Super Bowl berth.

The Ravens once again rolled out a defense that ranked in the top ten against the run, in sacks, and total defense. Year after year, no matter the roster deficiencies or turnover, Pees manages to hold things together and just make it work.  Granted, he has the benefit of working with a strong organization, but he often doesn’t get the credit he deserves.

Today, however, he is.  Bucky Brooks at has published his top 20 rankings for NFL coordinators.  And Pees didn’t go unnoticed, coming in as the 7th best defensive coordinator and the 12th best coordinator overall.  Brooks’ logic for the choice obviously makes a lot of sense.

"It’s not easy living up to the lofty standard set by a series of great defensive coordinators in Baltimore, but Pees has continued to extend the Ravens’ defensive dominance under his watch. The veteran play caller has kept the Ravens playing at a high level despite inserting a number of young players into the lineup following Baltimore’s Super Bowl triumph a few seasons ago. Utilizing an attack-style 3-4 scheme that sends pressure from every angle, Pees forces quarterbacks to make quick decisions under duress. Additionally, he clogs the running lanes with multiple bodies and dares runners to turn the corner against a fast defense. Although the blitz-heavy scheme exposes cornerbacks to countless one-on-one matchups, the fact that the Ravensfinished in the top 10 in total defense last season — with a cast of former practice-squad members and late-season pickups occupying key spots — speaks volumes about Pees’ coaching prowess."

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Whether or not you agree with where Dean Pees is ranked in relation to some other coordinators (I have my own disagreements), it’s nice to see one of the game’s most unheralded coaches get some recognition. Sure, he has the benefit of having guys like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil on the roster, but you can’t deny the turnover that seems to take place every single season.

Related: Will Dean Pees Ever Be a Head Coach?

Having said that, it’s also nice to see all of these coordinators getting their time in the spotlight.  We often focus solely on head coaches and GM’s, but don’t give much thought to coordinators or position coaches and the impact they have on the game.  Today, for once, we give those guys a hat tip.

Next: Ravens 2015 Success Hinges on Young Defense

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