NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees is returning to Nashville on Monday, and the team is encouraged by the news it’s received in the past 24 hours.
Pees left Sunday’s Titans-Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium with a “medical issue,” and he remained in an Indianapolis hospital overnight for tests. Vrabel on Monday said “everything that would be really worrisome has been ruled out from the neurologists in Indy.”
“All the tests came back very positive, and Dean will be able to probably on his way home from Indy, probably as we speak now, and is wife is with him, so that’s good,” Vrabel said. “I want to thank (Colts GM) Chris Ballard and the Colts organization – they went over and checked on him as we were getting on the plane last night. I thought that was a really classy move.
“So it looks like he’ll be headed back.”
Pees left the press box in the first quarter in a wheelchair. Vrabel said he called the defense the rest of the day in the team’s 38-10 loss to the Colts.
Vrabel said his challenge now will be to keep Pees from working too much, too soon. He expects him back coaching again, he said.
“Dean loves this team, he loves his players,” Vrabel said. “He wants to come in – he is not coming in today. He is going to go home and rest. I told him to work banker’s hours for the rest of the week – come in at 9, and make sure you are out of here at 5 o’clock. But I do see him coming back shortly. But I want to make sure he is getting plenty of rest, and we are not rushing anything. We do have an extra day with the Monday night game.
“We’ll help him (in preparation). I feel confident in the guys we have here. I’ll be in there, and I am in there a lot as it is. I don’t think it is going to be anything different. I sit in there with those guys all the time. And I think when Dean feels good enough to be here an extended amount of time – he’ll be here plenty. We’ll make sure he has everything he needs at home. … He is trying to come in this afternoon, and we have the security guards are making sure he doesn’t come in here.”
Pees joined the Titans this offseason after coaching previously with the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. The Titans were ranked No.1 in the NFL in scoring defense heading into Sunday’s game, and the team is now ranked second overall, behind the Ravens.
The Titans face the Texans on Monday night in Houston.
Vrabel said the situation involving Pees wasn’t easy from a personal standpoint. Matt Pees, Dean’s son, is the team’s quality control coach.
“You are hearing the guy (on the headset), and you talking to him: ‘Hey Dean, are you doing OK? Everything is going to be OK. We’ll be fine’ – because he is up in the box,” Vrabel said of Pees. “His son is up there, (outside LBs coach) Shane (Bowen) is up there. Our health – the health of our players, the health of our coaches – is important.
“We are really happy to have gotten the reports that we’ve gotten. So I think once I see him – I talked to him this morning, and he was in good spirits. You can always tell how respected a guy is throughout the league. The amount of calls and texts that I got last night on his behalf was really impressive. Everybody around this league is texting, ‘Hey, please just let me know about Dean and let him know I am thinking about him, praying about him' – head coaches, assistant coaches. He is well-respected throughout this league.”
The Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)