Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees has been in charge of some of the best defenses in the NFL including the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
He comes to the Falcons with an impressive resume and a reputation for attacking. Despite some lopsided scores in the first two preseason games, the defense for the most part has looked good for Atlanta.
"The installation's going well," said Pees after practice on Thursday. "Guys have really kind of bought in. The great thing is we had great participation in the offseason. With the Zoom meetings back in phase one, and then with the OTAs we had great attendance. That really helps, especially being a new system, new staff. My hat's off to the players for being here for that. It's going well."
Pees has coached defense in the NFL since he started as linebackers coach with the New England Patriots in 2004, and he's impressed with rookie head coach Arthur Smith.
"Practice organization of Coach Smith is unbelievable. So we've been able to get a lot of stuff in and get a lot of work done."
Rather than focus on an individual unit, Pees recognizes the synergy between the defensive line, linebackers, and secondary. Each player at every position must do a job in order to be successful. More importantly, each player must be able to fill several roles.