Defensive coordinator Dean Pees coached Sunday’s game from a different vantage point as he called the shots from the coaches’ booth during the 25-15 win over the Browns.
His defense surrendered five field goals but excelled in red-zone defense as Cleveland failed to score a touchdown in five trips inside the 20-yard line. It’s the first time Pees has coached from the booth this season, but the 63-year-old spent time upstairs during his four-year tenure as the Patriots defensive coordinator from 2006 through 2009.
“There’s a lot of different ways to do it, but I think he feels good up there where he’s got a little better view on everything,” Harbaugh said. “He can kind of see what’s going on and make some corrections and make some adjustments without having to have it communicated [to the field by him].”
Pees isn’t the first Baltimore defensive coordinator to coach upstairs as Mike Nolan did it during his run as Ravens defensive coordinator from 2002 through 2004.
Inside linebacker coach Don Martindale relayed the signals to players while secondary coach Teryl Austin and linebackers coach Ted Monachino also assisted with on-field communication from the sideline. Harbaugh was pleased with the defensive communication.
The Baltimore defense currently ranks 26th in yards allowed (386.3) and 15th in points surrendered (22.0).
“You can actually see the game better and see the problems that develop easier from up there than you can on the sideline,” Pees told the New England media late in the 2008 season after moving upstairs to the coaches’ booth.
The new viewpoint is expected to become a permanent fixture for Pees as he tries to guide his defense to improve in the second half of the season. Harbaugh made it clear it was Pees’ choice to move upstairs.
“We do plan on doing that going forward,” Harbaugh said. “That was Dean’s idea. That’s something Dean talked about after the game down in Houston. He’d actually brought it up with me a couple weeks before that, thinking maybe he’d be a little more comfortable doing it that way.”
Lewis continuing to rehab on own
Inside linebacker Ray Lewis continues to rehab from triceps surgery in his home state of Florida, but the Ravens do not expect him to return to their Owings Mills facility for a while.
The 37-year-old was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return should he be able to make a miraculous recovery in time for the postseason.
“He’s doing well. He probably won’t be in the building for a little while,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got a protocol he’s following. He’s got the best doctors in the world — to my understanding — working on his triceps.”
The Ravens would benefit from Lewis’ cerebral influence in meeting rooms and on the sideline, but Harbaugh didn’t seem concerned with the veteran’s strategy for recovering from injury.
“I fully trust Ray with his rehab right now,” Harbaugh said. “I know he’s doing everything he can to get back.”