Atlanta Falcons hire Dean Pees as defensive coordinator, Dave Ragone as offensive coordinator

Aug 17, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees before the game against the New England Patriots at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons lured Dean Pees out of retirement to be their new defensive coordinator and have hired Dave Ragone away from the Chicago Bears to be offensive coordinator, the team announced Thursday.

Pees, 71, retired a second time after the 2019 season in Tennessee, his second season as defensive coordinator with the Titans. Ragone, 41, was the passing-game coordinator for the Bears, though new head coach Arthur Smith will call the plays for the Falcons next season.

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The Falcons on Thursday also announced Marquice Williams as special teams coordinator.

Dean Pees, who was also defensive coordinator in New England for four years (2006-09) and Baltimore (2012-17), inherits an awful defense that has finished in the bottom third in total defense the past three seasons. Pees first retired after the 2018 season in Baltimore but was lured back weeks later to the sidelines in Tennessee by Mike Vrabel, where he coached with Smith.

Pees is one of eight defensive coordinators to coach two different teams in a Super Bowl, according to ESPN. He won Super Bowls with both the Patriots and Ravens.

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Ragone becomes an offensive coordinator for the first time in his career. Ragone and Smith worked together in Tennessee from 2011-13.

Former Falcons defensive coordinator and interim head coach Raheem Morris was named the new Los Angeles Rams DC hours earlier on Thursday.

–Field Level Media