Smith's Atlanta Staff Now Includes Four Former Titans Coaches

Steve Hoffman and Matt Pees among the latest hires made by the first-time head coach.
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Arthur Smith’s staff with the Atlanta Falcons now includes four former Tennessee Titans assistants.

The Falcons announced that Steve Hoffman will be a senior assistant and Matt Pees will be a defensive assistant. The additions were among staff members the former Titans offensive coordinator hired over the weekend.

Smith earlier had named Dean Pees his defensive coordinator and Dave Ragone his offensive coordinator. Both had been part of Tennessee staffs with Smith, a Titans assistant under four different head coaches over a decade.

The first-time head coach also has gone beyond his direct connections to find assistants. His initial staff will include defensive line coach Gary Emanuel and tight ends coach Justin Peelle. Emanuel previously did the same job with Indianapolis (2012-17) and the New York Giants (2018-19). Peelle spent the last six seasons as Philadelphia’s tight ends coach.

Thus far, Smith has not taken any of the Titans’ 2020 assistant coaches.

Hoffman, like Dean Pees, decided to come out of retirement to work with Smith. His last job was as Tennessee’s special teams coordinator in 2017, the season before Mike Vrabel became head coach. He has 28 years of NFL experience, including 16 with at Dallas, where he was a part of three Super Bowl winners, and five seasons with the Titans (2013-17), the first three as assistant special teams coordinator.

Matt Pees (pictured) reunites with his father after one season as a high school coach in his native Ohio. The younger Pees was a defensive quality control coach for Tennessee during the two years Dean Pees was defensive coordinator (2018-19).

Dean Pees called the opportunity to work alongside his son “a dream come true.” Now he gets to do it again.