Most coaches go out of their way to be bland before playing old teams or old friends.
But while Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees wouldn’t get into why he left New England, he insisted he wanted to beat them more than others.
“It’s always an emotional day,” Pees said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I’m not going to lie about that and act like it’s just another game. It’s a big game for me. I think I mentioned it once before, it’s kind of like when you go out and you play golf against somebody and you want to win, but when you play your brothers, you really want to win.
“There’s a lot of friends over there on the other sideline, a lot of old colleagues, a lot of players that I coached. So, yeah, sure it’s an emotional game. It always is.”
Pees was Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator from 2006 to 2009, and left after the Ravens beat the Patriots 33-14 in the playoffs. But he has always denied he was fired, or that medical reasons spurred his move.
He was asked Thursday why he took a step back and accepted the Ravens linebackers coach job (he moved back up to coordinator this year when Chuck Pagano left).
“Personal reasons,” he replied, showing the strong Belichick influence, before saying he had a “great” relationship with his old boss.
“We still speak on occasions when we’re playing a team that’s a common opponent and we aren’t playing each other,” Pees said. “In certain years, we’ll discuss things. It’s a great relationship.”
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to stick it to Belichick Sunday night.