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Dean Pees on Ravens defense: 'We are our own worst enemy'

Responding to a seemingly innocuous question about the Ravens safeties, Dean Pees went on a nearly four-minute rant in which he expressed his frustrations with the play of his defense. ¿The thing with us is we are our own worst enemy,¿ said Pees, the Ravens¿ veteran defensive coordinator.

Responding to a seemingly innocuous question about the Ravens safeties, Dean Pees went on a nearly four-minute rant in which he expressed his frustrations with the play of his defense.

"The thing with us is we are our own worst enemy," said Pees, the Ravens' veteran defensive coordinator. "It really, right now, is not about San Francisco, and it wasn't about Cleveland. It's about us. We have our communication; we've just got to be consistent in what we do."

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Pees is still miffed about the defense's performance in last Sunday's 33-30 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns. In that game, the Ravens allowed 505 yards of total offense and 457 passing yards to journeyman quarterback Josh McCown.

There was plenty not to like, but Pees focused on the unit's inconsistency. He cited an example where he called one pressure early in the second quarter that resulted in McCown having to throw the ball away and the Ravens getting a third-down stop. Pees went back to the same pressure later in the game and the blitzing player had another free run at McCown. However, he chose a different gap and wasn't able to get to the quarterback.

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"That's our inconsistency. We've just got to keep harping on it and building on it," Pees said. "It's not a secret. It's not a panic. It's not, 'OK, we've got to change scheme.' It's not, 'We've got to do anything.' We've just got to learn to do the same things all the time."

The Ravens have allowed 137 points through the first five games, the most during that span in franchise history. Heading into Sunday's matchup with the 49ers, the Ravens pass defense ranks 25th in the NFL.

"It's all of our faults," Pees said. "Somehow, even as coaches, we've just got to make it right. I know you guys can sense my frustration with it. It's the same thing in coverage. … We aren't consistent back there. They work well together, and then for one play, even though they've got the right call, they don't work well together. It's not only them, it's everybody. It's across the board. So we've just got to clean that up. … I'm not blaming it on players. I'm blaming it on us. We've got to drive it home to them to make them believe that they can do it. When you believe you can do it, you can do it."

Pees clearly wasn't using the defense's youth and injury situation as an excuse either.

"We ain't young anymore," he said. "We're into the season. We've had [organized team activities], we've had training camp. I'm tired with young. We can also say, 'This guy's out, that guy's out.' I don't care. It wasn't that. If I thought it was that, then I'd say, 'OK, it's different.' But we had so many opportunities in that [Browns] game. We're terrible on third down because of us."

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