"I had two choices when I took that job," Pees said. "I could elevate my career by recruiting a bunch of guys who were good football players but not good people, and win a bunch of games and get out of town. Or I could say, 'I'm going to try to do this the right way, which will take a long time.'"
The high road, it was.
"My name is very important to me. I don't ever want to disgrace my father or mother," he said. "I've never stepped on anyone's toes to get ahead. I've just tried to work hard and, hopefully, my resume speaks for itself."
The Ravens agreed, making Pees their fourth defensive coordinator in five years.
"How could they not?" said Dave Magazu, the Denver Broncos' offensive line coach and a longtime friend. "Dean has been around the block; this isn't his first rodeo. With the Ravens, there'll be no shortcuts and everything will be done the right way.
"Football is one thing, but being a good person is more important than being a good coach. Dean just happens to be both."
At night, if she's awake when her husband gets home, Melody Pees will slip downstairs, curl up in a chair and bask in the music. His fingers are flying, and the wheels are turning — refining, perhaps, a scheme to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.
"How long he plays depends on how inspired he is," she said. "Dean has an amazing database of football knowledge. Now, can he put dishes in the dishwasher? Somehow, he forgets to do that. But, football-wise, he's a genius."
Baltimore Sun reporter Childs Walker contributed to this article. Text TERPS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun Terps sports text alerts