Former Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced his retirement after two years on the job and gave a wide-ranging explanation for his decision.
After 50 years as a coach, Dean Pees, defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, announced his retirement on Monday.
Pees, at age 73, was the NFL’s oldest defensive coordinator. He just finished a two-year job with the Atlanta Falcons after playing for the Patriots, Ravens, and Titans in his career.
This is Pees’ third retirement in his career, and he announced it Monday afternoon, despite the fact that Atlanta’s defence has really started to shine in the second part of the season.
The unit is flourishing, and he still has a year left on his contract; why leave now, when things are going so well?
First of all, I’ve seen too many athletes whose careers were prolonged by a hair too long,” Pees said. “Guys who have had fantastic careers but who, in the latter stages, may have lost a bit and begun to drift or lost speed or whatever it is physically, and therefore may have a less than stellar conclusion. That’s what the public thinks, and it saddens me because they both had such promising careers.
To quote the main character: “Right now, my ego and my heart tell me to stay, but my mind and my body tell me it’s time.”
Despite the team’s success on the field, Pees had a rough year off of it, highlighted by a collision with New Orleans Saints punt returner Rashid Shaheed during pre-game warmups on December 18. The veteran coach was taken to the hospital for observation, but he returned to the sidelines later that day.
Pees also revealed that he got in Los Angeles during Week 2 of the season and didn’t fully recover until the 20th of December. He complained that it was “hard to put in 85 hours a week” at his age and that he had trouble sleeping.
Therefore, Pees decided it was time to move on, in part because he is uncertain about where he fits in the Falcons’ chronology.
To begin, Pees remarked, “I think this thing is heading in such a terrific manner.” If I can help it, I don’t want to be a negative influence on the defence or the team.
Numerous professional considerations informed Pees’s decision, but in the end, it was his own motivations that swayed him.
After discussing the options with his wife Melody, Pees ultimately decided that retiring was the wisest course of action.
Pees’s choice was influenced less by the prospect of retiring while still coaching at a high level than by his desire to spend more time with his family.
Saying, “I owe it to my wife and family to give them time,” Pees emphasised the importance of spending time with loved ones. “At my age, you simply never know how much time you have left, and it just weighed on me that my family has suffered so much, that my wife has done so much, for my job. We had planned to go on a trip following the Tennessee thing, but then the COVID pandemic came, and we couldn’t go.
As Pees explained, “losing a few of coaching pals” this year gave new depth and purpose to his decision to spend more time with his family.
It worried me a little,” Pees admitted. When do you stop trying to do the things you want to do with your loved ones? A number of my grandsons are currently participating in football and other sports, and I’d want to watch them.
In the past, my work schedule prevented me from attending many of my children’s sporting events, and I hope that I will be able to do the same for my grandchildren.
For good this time, Pees has hung up the call sheet after more than three decades of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate levels and eighteen years in the NFL.
This means that Pees can relax and enjoy the game from the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that the Falcons’ defence will be formidable for years to come.