Dean Pees' Super Bowl title-winning NFL career has come to an end.
The Titans defensive coordinator announced his retirement Monday.
Tennessee Titans✔@TitansCongratulations to Dean Pees on an outstanding career.
"It is for real," Pees said of his retirement. "If I wanted to continue coaching it would be here. We've got a great staff, really enjoyed the guys, great working for [head coach] Mike [Vrabel], I love our players. I'm done coaching."
Pees was already beginning his retirement when Vrabel was hired as Titans head coach in 2018. That didn't last long. Vrabel said Monday his second phone call placed after he was hired was to Pees to get him to come to Tennessee to coordinate the Titans' defense.
"It wasn't a hard sell when he got me out of retirement because of who Mike is," Pees said of Vrabel's pitch to him in 2018. "How he was as a player, I knew how the success he'd have as a coach. It was my honor to be able to work for him for the last two years."
Tennessee finished as the No. 3 defense in terms of opposing points scored in 2018 and 12th in 2019, recording 40 takeaways combined between the two seasons under Pees. The unit's five takeaways logged in Tennessee's first two playoff games this season helped propel the Titans to an unlikely run to the AFC Championship Game before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pees' NFL career spanned 16 seasons with three teams: the New England Patriots (2004-2009), Baltimore Ravens (2010-2017) and Titans. During that stretch, Pees won two Super Bowls: XXXIX with New England and XLVII with Baltimore.
Prior to making the jump to the pros, Pees spent 25 seasons coaching in a variety of roles in the college ranks at Findlay, Miami (Ohio), Navy, Toledo, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Kent State, where he served as head coach from 1998-2003. It was after he was fired from Kent State that he made the leap to New England, kicking off his NFL run.
The 70-year-old Pees spent 47 years coaching football at all levels, working on staffs led by venerated coaches Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh. He closed his career Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Houston Texans will transition to a new defensive leader in 2020.
Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver is expected to become the Texans defensive coordinator, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning, per sources informed of the situation.
Weaver's elevation to DC comes as the Texans are moving on from longtime assistant Romeo Crennel. Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Crennel isn't expected to return as defensive coordinator.
The Texans will have more meetings this week to determine what role, if any, Crennel will have with the team moving forward. With his contract expiring, Crennel could return as a senior assistant or retire. The 72-year-old has been the Texans defensive coordinator since 2014 after head coaching stints in Cleveland and Kansas City. His time in Houston has been marked by some stellar game plans -- particularly against the New England Patriots -- but far too much inconsistency, including the inability to adjust on the fly in the postseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The promotion of the 39-year-old Weaver keeps a familiar face in a key role in Houston. Weaver, a former second-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens out of Notre Dame in 2002, played the final three years of his seven-year pro career in Houston. After two years as a college assistant in 2010 and 2011, Weaver made the jump to the pros as an assistant D-line coach with the New York Jets in 2012.
In 2013, Weaver dropped the assistant tag as he jumped to Buffalo Bills, where he spent one season before manning the Cleveland Browns' D-line from 2014-2015. Weaver has been the Texans defensive line coach since 2016.
Weaver will command a full defense for the first time in his career in 2020. The Texans defensive front keyed the unit this year despite the trade of Jadeveon Clowney and an injury to J.J Watt that wiped out most of the campaign.
We'll see if Weaver's skill for milking the most out of his D-line talent can extend to the rest of the group. The Texans sorely need to upgrade the defense this offseason if they are to become more than playoff fodder for more complete teams.