The Ravens have a long history of promoting their defensive coordinators from within. Mike Nolan replaced Marvin Lewis. Rex Ryan replaced Nolan. Greg Mattison replaced Ryan. And Chuck Pagano replaced Mattison.
Now that Pagano is leaving the Ravens after one season as defensive coordinator to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Dean Pees and Clarence Brooks are two names to remember in the coming days.
Pees just finished his second season coaching the Ravens linebackers, including Pro Bowl players Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. He joined the Ravens in 2010 after spending four seasons as defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. In his four seasons as coordinator, the Patriots were the only team to finish in the top 10 in scoring defense in each of those four years, averaging fewer than 20 points against per game each season.
In 2006, their first season under Pees, the Patriots set a franchise record for points allowed per game (14.8).
Pees has known John Harbaugh for three decades. In 1983, he coached the Ravens head coach at Miami University (Ohio).
On Tuesday, Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston reported that Pees could become Pagano's replacement.
Brooks, who coaches the defensive line, has been with the Ravens since 2005 (he replaced Ryan). The Ravens have finished in the top five in rushing defense for six straight seasons thanks in part to his work with players such as Haloti Ngata, Kelly Gregg, Justin Bannan, Cory Redding and Suggs, who works with Brooks, too.
He has been a defensive line coach in the NFL since 1993 with previous stops in Chicago, Cleveland and Miami.