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By Matt Vensel | October 23, 2013
One of the few areas in which the Ravens have been consistently good this season is in their red zone, where they usually send opponents back to the sideline with three points and their tails between their legs. The Ravens are second in the NFL in red-zone defense this season, allowing touchdowns just 26.3 percent of the time. At 22.2 percent, only the Kansas City Chiefs have been stingier inside their 20-yard line. Red-zone defense was one reason the Ravens were able to hang around with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's 19-16 loss.
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Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2014
TAMPA, FLA. - Inside the locker room late Sunday afternoon, Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee had a blunt take on the defense's rough treatment of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon. “He's going to be pretty sore,” McPhee said while smiling at his handiwork, which included one sack. During the Ravens' 48-17 win at Raymond James Stadium, the defense sacked Glennon a season-high five times and hit him 15 times. The amount of sacks equaled their previous season total entering Sunday's game.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
A week after he was critical of the Ravens' coverage breakdowns, defensive coordinator Dean Pees defended the play of starting safeties Matt Elam and Darian Stewart, saying he thought the team's secondary played well in the victory over the Carolina Panthers. “I think they're doing real well,” said Pees when asked specifically about the two safeties. “I'll admit that I don't think we played very well on the back end in the Cleveland game, and that was a lot of guys. It's never one guy. There are a lot of things that happen there and it wasn't just Matt and it wasn't just Stew.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
When Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco took his first snap in the full-squad portion of Wednesday's practice, three of his usual five starting linemen were nowhere to be found. Despite that - and a shaky performance by the offensive line last Sunday - Flacco said he has no concerns about the group. "I'm not even thinking about that," Flacco said. "Three out of five games, I haven't really been touched. This past week, it's really the situation that we have to fix as a whole group.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Friday that the outside concerns about the Ravens' cornerback depth aren't unfounded. The team feels the same way. “I don't think there's been more made of it,” Pees said. “I think there is [real concern]. There's some depth, there's competition, but we've got to come out of this preseason [and] somebody has got to rise up.” Pees said he has no doubts about fourth-year cornerback Jimmy Smith, but that's the only given as the team enters the second week of camp.
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By Mike Klingaman, The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2012
It's 11 p.m. when Dean Pees arrives at his Reisterstown home, after 16 hours of hatching game plans as the Ravens' new defensive coordinator. Tired? You bet. Sleep? Not yet. Pees, 63, heads for the study, sits at the digital piano, dims the lights and tickles the ivories. The music - mostly self-penned, easy-listening stuff - could calm a manic Ray Lewis. Not Pees. Each note fires his football imagination. "Oftentimes, this is when he does his best thinking and scheming of defenses," said Melody Pees, his wife.
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By Matt Vensel | September 19, 2013
The Ravens see that Jimmy Smith can be a quality starting cornerback. They say he flashes that kind of ability every game. But they also see the moments when he gets caught out of place and gets stuck on somebody else's highlight reel. That inconsistency might drive you crazy, but the Ravens feel Smith is on the right track. Smith is in his third NFL season, and the cornerback position can sometimes have a steep learning curve. But expectations are elevated for cornerbacks who are selected in the first round of the draft.
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By Edward Lee and The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2013
Terrell Suggs has been quiet lately, compiling zero sacks and just seven tackles in the Ravens' past six games, including the team's 24-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in last Sunday's AFC Wildcard round. The five-time Pro Bowler has a few valid excuses. He missed the first six games of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a partially torn right Achilles tendon in April and then tore his right biceps in a 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 2. That injury sidelined him for the Ravens' 31-28 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins the following Sunday and persuaded the coaching and medical staffs to shelve him for the regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 30. After Sunday's win, Suggs told Yahoo!
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | January 29, 2013
Dean Pees wanted to believe nothing needed to change. This was the Ravens' defense, after all, and it isn't easy to overhaul a group that has long been one of the league's best. It didn't matter that Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb were out, that Terrell Suggs was playing on one leg, that Haloti Ngata had one healthy shoulder and one good knee. Or that the team's linebacker and secondary corps were so decimated by injuries that players were going from the practice squad to the starting lineup.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | October 10, 2013
After fielding a few questions about whether Terrell Suggs is playing better than he ever has and another about the effect that Elvis Dumervil has had on his pass rush, defensive coordinator Dean Pees wanted to make sure Baltimore media and Ravens fans knew about the dirty work being done by Courtney Upshaw. The second-year strong-side linebacker has made just 10 tackles in five games and recorded his first sack of the season last weekend against the Miami Dolphins. But Pees said Upshaw “does a lot of little things behind the scenes,” like picking offensive linemen to free up his teammates to sack the quarterback.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2014
Some sports name three stars of the game after the game. I'll do that one better: I'm going to name them before the Ravens even play. These will be the three stars of the game when the Ravens play the Colts in Indianapolis. 1. Quarterback Andrew Luck Luck has engineered the Colts to the top of the league in total yards (1,776), passing yards (1,304), and first downs (107) through the first quarter of the season, with the third-year quarterback earning the plaudits for the team's performance.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
There's a pretty solid chance that the Ravens' scouting report on the Indianapolis Colts' offense includes a few bolded reminders about how dangerous wide receiver T.Y. Hilton can be as a deep threat. Hilton is one of the fastest wide receivers in the NFL, having run the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds. “We just can't let him take the top off the defense,” Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. Hilton emerged last season as a pivotal figure in the Colts' offense, catching a career-high 82 passes for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Pernell McPhee has never operated in the spotlight on the Ravens defense, but the fourth-year outside linebacker has carved out an effective place in the rotation by both feeding on those who hog the attention, and at times, taking it away from them. With the Ravens thin on the defensive line and with stars Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil no longer every-down rushers, McPhee has seen time at both outside linebacker positions, defensive end, and nose tackle. He's not being shoehorned into the defense out of necessity, though.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
A week after he was critical of the Ravens' coverage breakdowns, defensive coordinator Dean Pees defended the play of starting safeties Matt Elam and Darian Stewart, saying he thought the team's secondary played well in the victory over the Carolina Panthers. “I think they're doing real well,” said Pees when asked specifically about the two safeties. “I'll admit that I don't think we played very well on the back end in the Cleveland game, and that was a lot of guys. It's never one guy. There are a lot of things that happen there and it wasn't just Matt and it wasn't just Stew.
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Mike Preston | September 29, 2014
Ravens running back Bernard Pierce can take his time healing his injured quadriceps. He can hang out in the whirlpool and get a couple of deep tissue massages. Get some more ultrasound treatments. If he wants, take another week or two off. I'm a supporter of the big back club and the Ravens have two of them in rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (226 pounds) and, when he returns, in Pierce (230 pounds). Former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis made a believer out of me. A team can have a home-run hitter at tailback, but there is nothing more demoralizing in football than a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a 230-pound running back shoving the ball down your throat.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2014
Ravens strong safety Matt Elam motioned with his hand in the opposite direction of the football as his eyes darted toward teammates trailing the play. Elam appeared lost at how to react Sunday when he failed to touch Taylor Gabriel down after the Cleveland Browns' wide receiver burst past him, allowing extra yardage after an already long reception. Confusion reigned in the Ravens' secondary during the 23-21 victory where Elam and teammates were frequently not on the same page.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
Responding to a question about whether rookie safety Terrence Brooks could be an option in the nickel back role, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees' answer probably could have applied to several positions. "It's an option. Everybody is an option right now," Pees said. "We're just trying to find guys. We're kind of moving guys around a little bit. We have two more games really to kind of experiment with where we want to put guys and see where they fit getting ready for the season.
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By Edward Lee | October 11, 2012
In 33 years of coaching football, Dean Pees has heard a lot of ideas and theories. One that continues to make him chuckle is the notion that defenses hone their ability to create turnovers by practicing tip drills. “It always kills me when I hear guys commentating on TV talking about strip drills and tip drills. 'Oh, they practice that every day.' We haven't practiced a tip drill in 20 years,” the defensive coordinator said during his weekly media briefing Thursday. “I mean, come on. I mean, first of all, who wants to go out and teach a defensive guy to tip it?
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The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2014
Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers readers' questions on the Ravens' win over the Cleveland Browns and other topics about the team. Going forward, to what extent does potentially losing Dennis Pitta for the year impact the offense? Does the offense have playmakers who can step in and lessen Pitta's absence? Does his injury appear to be career-ending? -- Craig, Winchester, Va. Craig, you have to be nervous about the loss of tight end Dennis Pitta. Pitta was supposed to be the replacement for Anquan Boldin last year, and the offense clearly suffered all of last season without him. This season needs to be different.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 23, 2014
Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson looks back at the Ravens' game each week and looks ahead to their next opponent. GAME PLAN: Maintaining a downhill, physical approach even with Bernard Pierce sidelined with a quadriceps injury, Gary Kubiak manufactured a balanced strategy headlined by the unveiling of powerful rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. Creating pathways for Taliaferro and Justin Forsett, fullback Kyle Juszczyk had his best game in three NFL starts with hard-nosed lead blocking.
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