The Atlanta Falcons are among the many teams making a coaching change on Black Monday. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced that he is retiring at the age of 73.
Pees has coached in the NFL since 2004 but had been coaching in various levels of football since 1979, including stints at Notre Dame, Michigan State, Navy and Kent State, where he was the head coach. He served in both the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator positions with the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, winning the Super Bowl in 2004 and 2013, and was also the DC for the Tennessee Titans.
Pees has retired twice before, including in 2020 before taking the job in Atlanta, but now seems to be calling it quits for good. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith spoke highly of Pees in the announcement of his retirement decision, according to Tori McElhaney of the team website.
“You appreciate all the work and the sacrifice,” Smith said of Dean Pees. “We all get paid to do this and we’re lucky as hell, but there are sacrifices you have to make. Dean’s a guy who has coached at every level and had success. He has impacted a lot of lives and he has impacted the game.”
In Week 15, Dean Pees was carted off the field after a collision and was taken to the hospital. He was cleared shortly after but will now be stepping away from football. The Falcons wrapped up their 2022 season with a 7-10 record and will look to build on a defense that features noteworthy players like Grady Jarrett and AJ Terrell.