While the Indianapolis Colts have 28 players on their roster who have no playoff experience, they have plenty who have inside knowledge of the Ravens.
It goes deeper than coach Chuck Pagano, who is in his first year after spending four years as a defensive coach in Baltimore. Pagano overcame leukemia, which sidelined him for 12 weeks, and it is now in remission.
The Colts also have defensive end Cory Redding, safety Tom Zbikowski, safeties coach Roy Anderson and special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf. All spent time with the Ravens under coach John Harbaugh.
Redding played his previous two seasons in Baltimore. Zbikowsi, in his first year with the Colts, spent four seasons. Anderson, also in his first year, was with the Ravens for seven seasons before that and Maalouf was an assistant special teams coach for four seasons.
Colts starting left guard Joe Reitz was on the Ravens’ practice squad for two seasons. Linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald was with the Ravens in the same capacity for four seasons, leaving before Harbaugh’s arrival in 2008.
“We are going to have a lot of familiar faces in here,” Harbaugh said. “Guys that were really a big part of what we have done here in the last four or five years. It’s going to be very emotional in that sense.”
Throw on top of that Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will be playing his final home game at M&T Bank Stadium, and there will be tears one way or another when the final whistle blows.
“We have talked about that. That’s something that we have talked to our team about a lot,” Harbaugh said about keeping perspective on the game. “It’s taking that energy and that emotion and focusing it and focusing it at the task at end and doing our job.”