Dean Pees: I came out of retirement to work with Arthur Smith

USA TODAY Sports

Longtime NFL assistant coach Dean Pees retired after the 2019 season.

He’d spent the last two years as the Titans’ defensive coordinator. Before that, Pees held the same position with the Ravens from 2012-2017.

But Pees apparently didn’t love his time away from the game all that much, because now he’s Arthur Smith’s defensive coordinator in Atlanta.

“I came out of retirement because I really missed it. And I think the world of Arthur Smith. I loved working with him,” Pees said Friday, via Jason Butt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I had the itch but I wasn’t going to go out and search for a job. I came here because of the Atlanta Falcons and Arthur Smith.”

Smith and Pees were on the Titans staff together from 2018-2019. Smith was Tennessee’s tight ends coach at first, but the two became fellow coordinators in 2019 when Matt LaFleur exited the OC role to become Green Bay’s head coach.

The Titans promoted another tight ends coach to offensive coordinator to replace Smith, this time placing Todd Downey in the position.