The Ravens' 30-23 loss to the New England Patriots on Monday night was costly, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg took the setback especially hard.
Pees blamed himself for not providing help to inside linebacker C.J. Mosley when Mosley followed running back James White out of the backfield and into a receiver position before the snap. Quarterback Tom Brady hit White on an in-route for a 61-yard gain that led to touchdown and 16-0 advantage with 9:28 left in the second quarter. Pees said the mistake was his.
"I had a call in there that I would like to have back, where I put C.J. on a running back, and I should have given him more help," he said. "So I'm responsible for that. I'm not happy with myself for what I did there. I should have had a check when they went to empty and not put him in that position, and I did."
The day after the game, the organization waived return specialist Devin Hester Sr., who did not field a punt. That led to running back Kenneth Dixon being tackled in the end zone for a safety with 10:47 left in the first quarter. Michael Campanaro (River Hill) replaces Hester, who averaged just 7.2 yards on 25 punt returns, and Rosburg's voice bristled with emotion while discussing the team's decision to part ways with Hester.
"I take responsibility for this happening," Rosburg said. "I take it very personally. It's my fault that he didn't have better opportunities to return and really show what he can do. We didn't block well enough for him, we didn't coach well enough for him, and when I talked to Devin, as you might expect, his response was, 'It's a team thing.' He took full responsibility, and he understands that we all have to do this together. It was telling on his character, and that's the kind of man he is.
"I told you all this many times: that's a great player. Devin Hester is a great football player, and I understand it and I don't like it because I think I let him down. I hold that responsibility on my shoulders, and that's the way it works. This is a rough business, and as I tell our guys all the time, we're all evaluated on everything every day as long as we're playing and coaching in this league. So it's just part of the business."