Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Before defensive coordinator Dean Pees joined Mike Vrabel’s staff with the Titans, he spent eight seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
Pees served as Baltimore’s DC the past six years, and he initially retired as a Raven in January. Then Vrabel talked him into joining his staff, and retirement was put on hold.
Will Sunday’s game be extra special for Pees? You bet it will.
“I know guys always say it’s another game. It’s not another game (to me),” Pees said on Thursday. “First of all it is a game we have to (win) to be 4-2 to keep a lead in our division, that’s the most important thing. And second of all, any time you play somebody that you know and know well and respect, it is always an emotional game.
“… It is like playing your brother in golf. You’d rather beat your brother in golf than you would somebody you didn’t know, right? That’s the way I look at it. I respect them, love them, and I want to beat them.”
Pees said he has the utmost respect for the Ravens, all the way to the top of the organization. Prior to the game, he plans to catch up with some old friends from the Ravens.
Will his knowledge of Baltimore help this week?
“I know them because I practiced against them all the time,” Pees said. “… But you still have to be able to cover them, and you still have to do a good job scheme-wise. I don’t know if it’s an advantage. It’s no more of an advantage than them knowing me. It’s 50-50, right? They know me pretty well, too. ”
What’s Up With the Tight Ends?
Five games into the season, the Titans have just seven catches combined from tight ends Luke Stocker (5-63) and Jonnu Smith (2-21).
Titans tight ends haven’t recorded a catch in the past two games.
Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur said it’s on him.
“That falls on me,” LaFleur said. “It’s our job to put those guys in position to have opportunities, and to be honest with you, myself, I have not done a good enough job of giving those guys (opportunities) the last two games. And some of that is a byproduct of some of the schemes that we’re facing and some of the passes that we’re implementing.”
LaFleur reminded that on a lot of plays, the tight ends are needed to stay in and block.
“In regards to the drop back game,” LaFleur said, “we have to scheme it up to get those guys involved because I do think the more versatile you are in terms of spreading the ball around, it opens up your offense and little bit and … the defense can’t just take one guy away.”
Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan (foot) returned to the practice field today, and was a full participant.
Safety Kenny Vaccaro (elbow), linebacker Will Compton (hamstring), linebacker Robert Spillane (knee) and defensive lineman Bennie Logan (elbow) did not practice on Thursday.
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) and linebacker Kamalei Correa (foot) were limited in today’s practice.