Reporting Kevin Battle
Ravens Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees joined The Norris & Davis Show on Baltimore’s 105-7 THE FAN to discuss the results of the NFL Draft.
Coach is excited about his new LB/DE Courtney Upshaw out of Alabama. ‘We think he is a great player. An edge-setter type guy on the run which is something we’ve always had here and look forward to still having. Very good pass rusher. Physical. Strong. We know he is a smart football player and that is something that is a very, very big plus for us,’ Coach Pees said happily.
Upshaw was drafted to take the place of LB Jarret Johnson, who signed with San Diego. Coach Pees added that Upshaw is going to be in competition with veteran Paul Kruger, ‘One thing about us is we try to keep everything competitive because it makes everyone a better football player. No one can get too relaxed.’
Replacing Johnson’s veteran leadership will take a few seasons. However, Coach Pees said there are similarities between JJ and Upshaw that will be evident from day one, ‘Just one tough cookie. And, that is one of the things that is a Ravens trait in playing defense here: A tough guy.’
Listen to entire interview here:
Speaking of replacing veterans, The Ravens addressed their ‘depth question’ at Safety after the departure of Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski this off-season. Christian Thompson from South Carolina State is expected to fill the void, according to Coach Pees, ‘he’s a physical-type guy, very strong, He’ll be a probably be an excellent special teams guy. Good tackler, tough, hard-nosed guy that is smart.’
Ed Norris also asked about a highly-touted standout from the 2010 NFL Draft: LB Sergio Kindle. Coach Pees informed fans ‘He’s working his way back. He’s doing real well in the off season at our football school. We’ll know more in the OTA’s. He’s working very hard everyday. I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to see him on the field.’