Former Titans Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees Among Falcons New Assistants

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Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA (AP) – New Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith has started building his staff by hiring offensive coordinator Dave Ragone, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and special teams coach Marquice Williams. Also, Smith is retaining Falcons wide receivers coach Dave Brock. Smith says he will call Atlanta’s offensive plays. The Falcons hired Smith, the former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator, last week. The 38-year-old Smith joins 40-year-old Terry Fontenot, who on Tuesday was named Atlanta’s general manager. Smith worked with Ragone and Pees in Tennessee. The 71-year-old Pees, who has coordinated defenses in New England, Baltimore and Tennessee, will join Smith following one year in retirement.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.