Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees soon will retire, according to multiple reports.
Pees, 68, has been with the Ravens on John Harbaugh's staff since 2010 but is expected to step away come March.
The Ravens typically promote from within and have a logical replacement in Don "Wink" Martindale, another veteran on the staff. However, two former Ravens assistants on Harbaugh's previous staffs appear to be coaching free agents. The Indianapolis Colts fired head coach Chuck Pagano on Sunday, and the Chicago Bears appear to be moving on from John Fox and his staff, which includes defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Pagano was the Ravens' defensive coordinator in 2011. Fangio served on Harbaugh's first two staffs before moving on to coach with Jim Harbaugh at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens lost Sunday, on a wild fourth-down touchdown in the final minute against the Cincinnati Bengals that thrust the Buffalo Bills into the postseason for the first time since the 1999 season.
Overall this season, the Ravens' defense held up its end of the bargain — even when the offense failed to do its part. The defense ranked in the top 10 in several categories, including sixth in points allowed. The Ravens were the only NFL team to record three shutouts this season.