Ravens hope to take emotion out of game against Pagano
While Ravens coach John Harbaugh came across as curt and standoffish, his counterpart with the Indianapolis Colts was just the opposite Monday.
Chuck Pagano spent four seasons with the Ravens as a secondary coach and defensive coordinator before heading to the Colts and helping lead them to the playoffs after a 2-14 record one season ago.
He didn't shy away from talking about injuries, having 28 players on his roster with no playoff experience or his familiarity with Baltimore.
“There are going to be some things I can sit down and watch some tape with anybody on the offensive side of the ball, if there’s any questions that need to be answered based on coverages and fronts, techniques and personnel and things like that,” Pagano said. “Obviously having spent the last four years there I’d be crazy not to spend some time with them.”
The Colts (11-5) have won five of their last six games, including a regular-season finale upset at the Houston Texans who were knocked from the No. 1 seed as a result. It marked Pagano’s first game back on the sideline with the team since Oct. 1. He was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent treatments during his 12-week absence and now it is in remission.
Bruce Arians, who was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2007-11, filled in for Pagano and won nine of 12 games. His intimate knowledge of the Ravens is a help, even though Dean Pees, who replaced Pagano as coordinator, has done a solid job in re-tooling a defense that has been riddled with injuries in his first season in the job for Baltimore.
“We’ve got an advantage … because of Bruce’s familiarity,” Pagano said. “So when he pops on the tape, even though it’s a new coordinator that system has been in place on defense there for a long, long time, going back to 2000. There’s some new faces obviously, but the system itself has pretty much stayed in place.
“Bruce knows that defense. He knows that scheme. He knows that personnel other than the new guys that are there. Going into this ballgame, it’ll really help us getting started and being able to put together a plan that’ll give us a chance to go win that football game.”