So remember that time the Baltimore Ravens had to replace their defensive coordinator because he was retiring? Maybe he’s not.
Dean Pees had been the defensive coordinator in Baltimore since 2012, previously serving for a couple of years as their linebackers coach, but he announced his intention to retire after the Ravens’ season ended, and then…well, he did. But now he might now, thanks to a domino effect of moves.
The Tennessee Titans, specifically are the potential destination, and it is because they cleaned house. After firing head coach Mike Mularkey, the organization replaced him with Mike Vrabel, who is getting his first opportunity in the NFL as a head coach. They also let go former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
Pees has had a close relationship with Vrabel, previously working with him while he was with the New England Patriots as their defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2009. With the defensive coordinator position open, the 68-year-old is reportedly intrigued by the possibility of working with Vrabel, and the two sides are in discussions, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec.
Yesterday afternoon, the reporter Tweeted that “momentum continues to build for Dean Pees to join Mike Vrabel’s staff, potentially as defensive coordinator”. He added, however, that there is “nothing close to final yet” and that “discussions continue”.
Momentum continues to build for Dean Pees to join Mike Vrabel’s staff, potentially as defensive coordinator. But nothing close to final yet. Discussions continue. https://t.co/XDzuQfmMJS
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) January 28, 2018
While it might bear some similarities for Steelers fans, this does not appear to be a ‘refiring’ fiasco that Pittsburgh found itself in, announcing that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians would be retiring after they let him go, only to see him quickly sign on as offensive coordinator with the Indianapolis Colts. He parlayed that into a head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals before finally retiring six years after he’d been supposed to.
By all accounts, Pees’ retirement was fully his own decision and legitimate. The Ravens ended up replacing him with the man that they brought in to replace him as the linebackers coach when he became the defensive coordinator.
It will be interesting to see whether or not this actually happens. ‘Discussions’ can move pretty quickly, after all. The Cleveland Browns had ‘discussions’ about a number of individuals this offseason only to hire them a short time later, including Ken Zampese as quarterback coach, Todd Haley as offensive coordinator, and multiple positions in the front office—most significantly John Dorsey as general manager.
Ultimately, the outcome does not affect the AFC North, however. The Ravens have already moved on to their next defensive coordinator, replacing from within, as they have throughout their history. Whether or not Pees continues to coach in order to work with Vrabel is immaterial. But it does make for an interesting story.