Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees retires
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced his retirement Monday following a successful NFL career that began with the New England Patriots.
The 68-year-Pees told players of his decision on New Year's Day, less than 24 hours after the Ravens were eliminated from playoff contention with a 31-27 loss to Cincinnati .
Pees served as Baltimore's defensive coordinator for six years, spending the 2010 and 2011 seasons as linebackers coach.
''A lot of guys are forced to retire because of their health reasons. My health couldn't be better,'' Pees said. ''I feel like most of the time in my 45-year career, football's probably come first and everything else second. It's time that changed.''
Pees plans to spend time with his family.
He began his coaching career in 1973 as a high school coach before becoming defensive coordinator at the University of Findlay in 1979. He served as an assistant at six other colleges before launching a six-year run as an assistant with New England.
He is one of eight men in NFL history to serve as defensive coordinator in a Super Bowl with two different teams. Baltimore won the 2012 Super Bowl with Pees guiding the defense.
''The two things I'm probably most proud of is that I've never been fired - people still think I was fired from New England. I was not,'' Pees said. ''And No. 2 is, that I have never in 45 years had a confrontation with a player.''
The Ravens had 34 takeaways this season and ranked 12th in total defense.
Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley said of Pees: ''I love him as a coach and as a man. The things that he did for this organization and the NFL, you've got to give credit to him and thank him.''
Current Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale is a possible candidate to replace Pees. Martindale has been with the Ravens since 2012.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL