Report: Dean Pees Job Is Safe


Report: Dean Pees Job Is Safe

According to a report by the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston, Dean Pees most likely be the Ravens defensive coordinator in the 2016 season. Here is what Preston reported:

"“According to a source in The Castle, Pees is preparing for the next season and there are no indications a change will be made in his position.”"

Now I’m going to give you my take on Pees keeping his job. First of all, this isn’t very surprising news because we all know how loyal Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh is. Secondly it isn’t horrible news because Pees is a competent coach and he is respected around the NFL for a reason.

More from Ebony Bird

I have never been a Pees guy. I grew up watching some of the best defensive teams in NFL history as a Ravens fan. I understand that bend and don’t break has become a reality in professional football, though I think the Ravens defensive coordinator could be more aggressive.

The prevailing wisdom is that without a competent secondary the Ravens cannot be aggressive defensively. According to this line of thought, blitzing only creates more pressure on your defensive backs. My line of thought is that if the Ravens cannot get after the passer they are putting all of the pressure on the secondary.

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
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 /

When you pressure the quarterback good things happen. You take away his first option, you can affect his accuracy and you can get sacks and turnovers. Rushing the passer is a highly rewarding proposition. This doesn’t have to be a high risk proposition.

The Ravens blitzing is rarer than it was under the coordinators that I enjoyed more than Pees. I miss guys like Chuck Pagano, Rex Ryan and Mike Nolan. These coordinators knew that it all started up front and that without pass rush, NFL QB’s would have their way. And while Ryan would occasionally go overboard with his blitzes, every coordinator we had knew how to do it schematically.

Pees calls blitzes that are transparent. He relies heavily on great pass rushers to win one on one matchups on the outside. That’s why the Ravens pass rush was hard to handle in 2014, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil put on an absolute clinic. The problem is when Suggs and Dumervil were slowed down there was often no pass rush to speak of.

In 2015 the Ravens defense played much better in the second half of the season. The Ravens had an easier schedule though. I admit that Pees did make some positive changes that led to better results but I don’t think the defense drastically improved, I think the level of competition went down. The Ravens still got humiliated by the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs who are both playoff teams.

Pees rarely utilizes stunts to create pressure. Stunts are coordinated attacks from the defensive lineman and sometimes linebackers. Stunts serve the purpose of confusing offensive lineman (or taking them out of the way) and creating a lane for a blitzing linebacker. Pees rarely relies on scheme for pass rush.

When the Ravens need it he will call blitzes and he will play aggressive coverage. When they have a lead he will go right back to a soft Cover 3 and let the opposing offense march down the field. The Ravens first meeting with the Bengals this season was a prime example. An aggressive play call had just gotten the Ravens a touchdown scoring turnover. The Ravens next defensive play, A.J. Green ran right through the seam for an easy touchdown pass. The Bengals knew that Pees would sink back into his conservative call and they knew where to attack for the big play.

Pees scheme is solid. The idea that you prevent the big play and you make them earn it in the red zone is solid. The idea that field goals shouldn’t beat you but touchdowns could, is also a fair principle. The problem is that there is a difference between bend and don’t break and bending all the way to the end zone. Without schematic pressure the Ravens defense will never be dominant like it once was.

Next: John Harbaugh Weathered Bad Season Like A Champion

I respect Pees as a person and a professional. I think the players respect him as well because he is a lifelong football man. I just don’t agree with the defensive philosophy. I want organized chaos. I want to take chances to make big plays on defense rather than being killed slowly.