Dean Pees Rant Goes Viral: Falcons DC Tired of Hearing ‘How Bad We Are’

Dean Pees Falcons

Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees of the Atlanta Falcons on July 30, 2021.

Saturday’s post-practice diatribe was not the first time Dean Pees has ranted to the media since he was hired as defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons in January 2021. For example, he unloaded after Atlanta won its first game of the season last year, an ugly 17-14 victory of the New York Giants. And earlier this year he called the younger generation of football coaches “entitled,” a rant that was met with “mixed reactions” by those in the NFL community.

Dean Pees: ‘We’re Changing the Culture’

On July 30, 2022, Pees addressed the media following Falcons practice and got pretty animated when talking about the importance of changing the culture in Atlanta — to something akin to what he experienced when he served as defensive coordinator in Baltimore and New England.

“We’ve talked about it before. We talked about it a little bit last spring,” he began, as provided by Miles Garrett of Fox 5 Atlanta. We’re changing the culture around this daggum place and it’s not going to be mediocre. It’s not going to be average. It’s not going to be in the bottom half of the league like it’s been 15 out of the last 20 years. Sick of that crap,” he said, just getting started.

“We’ve got to take charge and it’s not going to be anybody else to do it but us. OK? I’m tired of everybody telling us how bad we are because after a while you start believing it. Just like they say you never tell your children stuff like (that). You get mad at a teacher telling some kid he’s stupid, right? Don’t ever tell somebody that because pretty soon they start believing it. Guys around here on defense sometimes believe that 15th is OK or whatever. Been in the Top 10 one time out of the last 20 years. That bullshit’s over. Sorry, I’m getting fired up today but I’m getting tired of this crap. We’re going to change the culture of the defense around this freaking place.”

Pees wrapped things up by insisting that NFL observers will soon be viewing Atlanta’s defense like people viewed the defenses he coached in the past.

“People are going to start talking about the Atlanta defense like they did Baltimore, like they did at New England. It’s going to be the same shit around here. Excuse me. I’m sorry for swearing,” he concluded.

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Falcons Among the Worst in Points Allowed in 2021

Pees is charged with improving a Falcons defense that allowed the third-most points per game in 2021 (27 ppg), while also allowing the sixth-most rushing yards.

Engineering a quick turnaround is a challenge, because Atlanta remains a salary cap-challenged team, with a league-high of $63,301,124 in dead money on the team’s cap. That said, improvements are likely to have to come via Atlanta’s draft class, which features outside linebacker Arnold Ebiketie (Penn State) and inside linebacker Troy Andersen (Montana State), both of whom were selected in the second round of the 2022 draft.

Prior to joining the Falcons in 2021, Pees was defensive coordinator for the Titans from 2019-20. He won a Super Bowl ring while he was with the Ravens (2010-17) and while serving as defensive coordinator for the Patriots from 2006-09.

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