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Pursuit of Dean Pees could hint to a possible defensive shift in Philly

Ball State Kent State Football AP

When the Eagles abruptly fired defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, it was assumed by certain Internet hacks that coach Andy Reid had a plan in place for replacing the man who was trying to replace the late Jim Johnson.

The plan possibly was, “We have no plan.”

The Eagles are still looking for a new defensive coordinator, and the latest name to emerge hints at a possible willingness to consider a dramatic overhaul to the team’s approach.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Eagles have sought permission to interview Ravens linebackers coach Dean Pees for the position.

Pees, a long-time college coach, has worked exclusively at the NFL level for teams that employ the 3-4 defense.  He spent 2004 through 2009 with the Patriots and 2010 with the Ravens.  The Eagles, however, are built to run the 4-3.

Or are they?  Last year, Ray Didinger pointed out that the team seemed to be loading up on players who could flourish in a 3-4 defense, which would make the move less clumsy than it was for, say, the Redskins in 2010.

Of course, such a shift would quiet speculation that the Eagles will try to land defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, so that he could be reunited with former Titans defensive line coach and new Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn.

The other known candidates for the defensive coordinator job in Philly primarily are known for running a 4-3 attack.  If the Eagles are now considering a shift to a 3-4, that opens up a new universe of potential candidates.

Including a certain 3-4 specialist who’ll be appearing on Thursday’s edition of ProFootballTalk Live.

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25 Responses to “Pursuit of Dean Pees could hint to a possible defensive shift in Philly”
  1. philly42 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:25 AM

    Please do not hire Pees if you are planning a 3-4 switch… It will ruin the point of having brought in the best 4-3 line coach in the game!!

  2. rpiotr01 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:26 AM

    Welcome to the 3-4 party. Better late than never.

    In five years the 4-3 will be the hot “new” system that’s all the rage.

  3. gforce90 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:28 AM

    Pittsburgh sucks!

  4. connie75 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:34 AM

    Philly fans will be pissed if Pees is hired.

  5. rjb23 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:35 AM

    The above comment does not make sense. Washburn is a DL coach. Simply because the Titans have used a 4-3 does not mean he will immediately forget how to train D-Lineman if the Eagles switch to a 3-4.

  6. mataug says: Jan 20, 2011 11:38 AM

    I don’t have any idea of the current Eagles roster but do the Eagles have the most important element of a 3-4 defense: a NOSE TACKLE ?

    It is easier to say that they seem to be going in that direction but a lot of DEs coming into the NFL may fit that profile, not just the ones that the Eagles have.

  7. jerryloler says: Jan 20, 2011 11:43 AM

    By defensive shift you mean dropping 8 guys into coverage on every single play. Pees was an over-conservative failure in New England who cover-3-ed himself out of a job. Why do you think Belichick would rather have no one as DC than Dean Pees?

  8. wte1 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:43 AM

    I don’t think I saw Dean Pees open his mouth once while on the sidelines in New England.

    He doesn’t do any coaching.

  9. cappa662 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:44 AM

    I think it’s more of the players, than it is the system. Dallas’ 3-4 sucks but Demarcus Ware puts up huge numbers. Chicago’s 4-3 sucked last year, but was great this year because of Julius Peppers. The list goes on.

  10. myeaglescantwin says: Jan 20, 2011 11:44 AM

    3-4 defenses need LBs & big DTs/ andy refuses to draft or acquire any talent or size at either position. Unless the front office shifts the personel management they have been employing, it doesnt matter if they run a 4-3 0r a 3-4..
    for the past three years. philly has been runing a 2-5.. they only get 265lb DE’s with “great motors” but no real power or size (or talent.)
    McDermott was handed a D that was full of 4th round or worse talent. We have 5’9 CBs goin against 6’3 WRs.. this is the trend in the NFL now. Bigger is better. the NFL season is like a 12 round title fight. We are too small to last past the 8th. thats why you see the team run outta gas around week 12.
    It is evident that Ried needs to change his philosophies in game planning, drafting and free agency. or else we will continue to 1 & done in the post season.

  11. smellsmalicious says: Jan 20, 2011 11:45 AM

    gforce90-

    JHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAJAJAJAJAJJAHAHAHAHAA TRUE

  12. ihatetheeffingjets says: Jan 20, 2011 11:45 AM

    Yeah great – set your defense back five years like this clown did to the Patriots’.

  13. realitypolice says: Jan 20, 2011 11:45 AM

    I thought the point of firing McDermott was because they were afraid Jauron was going to get hired elsewhere and that they would quickly move him up?

    I thought I read that somewhere. Can’t remember the name of the web site, but it rhymed with “dough put ball smock”.com

  14. eoeleven2675 says: Jan 20, 2011 12:34 PM

    If you look at the roster…

    Trevor Laws, Mike Patterson, and Jeremey Clark all are undersized for either DT but are prototype for 3/4 DEs.

    Tapp, McCray, and Parker are all tweener type DEs that usually uptick as pass rush OLBs.

    Personally I do not care for a LB on the eagles roster as a true #1 but as an interchanable group sharing OLB and two ILB I have seen worse do better. They should all be easy to get rid of too because other than Sims (who should also uptick in the 3/4) none of them have uncuttable salaries.

    Dixon is small for a true NT but he could easily transition nicely into a Ryan Pickett role where he plays 3 tech DT in the nickle and DE on run downs.

    Not a Philly fan but I have friends that are and I have been telling them for years they have been drafting 3/4 players and misusing them in a 4/3.

    A true nose (Rodgers, Jenkins both could be had in the off season) and a couple of LBs over 250 pounds and the Eagles could easily be better next season for the switch.

    Will not change the fact the walrus is not a smart man and Vick is an athlete not a QB or leader.

  15. skins23 says: Jan 20, 2011 12:45 PM

    Giggle – his name is Pees.

  16. Matthew Flint says: Jan 20, 2011 12:51 PM

    Thanks for deleting my older post with the link denying this story.

  17. fmwarner says: Jan 20, 2011 1:19 PM

    Great. We can’t find three good LBs, so let’s switch to a system that requires four.

  18. Jay says: Jan 20, 2011 1:49 PM

    @myeaglescantwin:

    No talent? Seriously? What games are you watching?

    4th round talent? Right. That’s the back ups for the D-line and the LBs, but not the D-line or secondary.

    It’s no wonder you sound like a hypochondriac with a name like yours.

    It’s never been about the players on the Eagles roster. They did fine with Johnson and lousy with McDermott.

  19. Jay says: Jan 20, 2011 1:50 PM

    Pees would be a lousy hire. He’s a career position coach.

  20. nygdefenserules says: Jan 20, 2011 2:13 PM

    They have drafted so many 3-4 players, it almost makes too much sense for Andy Reid to make this switch. He usually sticks with his “system” even when it is failing.

    Trent Cole could move to the OLB pass-rusher.

    Bunkley, Laws and Patterson are almost ideal size for 3-4 DE’s.

    Antonio Dixon is 6’3 and 322 – he could probably handle the NT spot for now

    Stewart Bradley, if he can stay on the field, could play ILB in either 3-4 or 4-3.

    They would need to sign/draft an OLB and an ILB if none of their current players fit the system.

    Most likey, Andy will start drafting 4-3 guys since he maight switch to 3-4…..that would be his style!

  21. heywoodjablome says: Jan 20, 2011 2:21 PM

    3 of the 4 teamsin the Super Bowl running employ a 3-4. I’ve been wondering for years why the Eagles haven’t made the shift yet. Granted, they don’t have the most important aspect: a big DT. Trent Cole could undowbtedly hold his own as a DE in the 3-4. It’d be nice to see Stewart Bradley and Jamar Chaney playing the ILB positions.

  22. heywoodjablome says: Jan 20, 2011 2:21 PM

    * undoubtedly

  23. buzzlightner says: Jan 20, 2011 2:22 PM

    bring in another shutdown corner (maybe nnamdi)… drop back brandon graham to olb (he would be a worthy pick then) and the eagles could play a 3-4. bunkley would be better as a nose tackle… cole can play any system… just the other de would bother me

  24. freedomispopular says: Jan 20, 2011 2:59 PM

    Dean does what?!

  25. myeaglescantwin says: Jan 20, 2011 3:21 PM

    @ Jay

    ?? seriously? when the Defense was good they had serious corner backs, LBs and DTs . not to mention weapon X..
    they have been disassembling the D for 3 years now.
    They have been dropping thier top picks in rounds 1-3 to pick up multiple picks in rounds 5-7.. that is ridiculous. we had two 7th round picks starting in the playoffs..
    you think we can win a title with Fokou and Chenney Hobbs , even bradley and Bunkley?
    Unless we start pickin up Size up front and talent behind them, there is no chance. We got lucky gettin Trent Cole LUCKY. its not gonna happen every year.
    But andy will trade away top picks to “increase competition” between 5th (or worse) round bums.. more than half of which never make the roster. .. waste

    & no talent is not Victor abiamiri, graham, our current DTs (-dixon) , any of the LBs. and 4 outta 5 corners..

    I love our safeties actually.

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