Jets coach Rex Ryan was loved by his players during his time in Baltimore from 1999-2008 large in part for his ability to allow his players to let loose and have some fun.
It allowed Ryan to get maximum potential and effort out of his players on defense, and guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed played their hearts out for him.
However, when Ryan left to coach the Jets in 2009, the Ravens were left with a fundamentalist in Greg Mattison at the helm and that appreciation was lost on the part of the players.
On Sunday with Rex Ryan on the opposing sideline, Ravens fans got a first-hand glance at a love growing on new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.
The beating the Jets took at the hands of the Ravens clearly showed that, and one of the players already heralding the efforts of Chuck Pagano is Ravens DL Cory Redding.
He explained that love and respect for their new boss to Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Monday following the Ravens 34-17 victory.
“He never starts the meetings off without a joke and never finishes one without a laugh,” Redding told Clark. “We start off with jokes to relax the room a little bit, and then we get into the meetings to and do what we got to do to get our orders for the week.”
The players followed through on those orders.
Ravens safety Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and others forced four turnovers from Jets QB Mark Sanchez, turning three of them into touchdowns.
They held the Jets to just three points on offense, and just 150 total yards through four quarters of play.
The three scores-sparked by Reed’s strip sack that Jameel McClain converted for the opening touchdown-turned out to be a franchise best, and Redding actually told Clark that he saw this kind of performance a mile away given the confidence they had going forward.
“I knew something magical was going to happen because we’ve been practicing that play for three weeks,” Redding said of Reed’s blitz. “We ran it a couple times, but just to start the game off with that kind of attitude and mindset, we were hoping and surely Ed came free…that’s what set the tone for the game.”
And from there, Pagano had Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez, and the Jets offense right where he wanted them.
“We have blitzes, but for the most part Chuck has things planned out and we just roll with him,” Redding said. “Whenever he gives us a call and says, ‘okay fellas, let’s go out there and make it happen’, we do.”
Redding also mentioned that Pagano wasn’t playing with a full deck either-missing several corners in Jimmy Smith, Chris Carr, and LB Dannell Ellerbe among others.
What does that mean?
When they do get healthy (the Ravens had seven inactive players Sunday night-all of them suffering from injuries)-watch out.
“That speaks highly of this team…,” Redding said, “…the whole team are starters and when it’s your chance, you go out and play like a starter. That’s what the guys did-they stepped up and made plays.”
Redding said in the short time that Pagano has been their defensive coordinator that given the preparation he puts in toward making them better, they can only show him the same.
“The man is good about his craft and physicality and he knows defense. He’s a great coach, and I’m proud to play for him.”
What Redding is even more pleased about is the fact that despite dominating performances this year out of the Ravens defense against the Steelers (7 turnovers) and the Jets (3 TDs), Pagano still expects more out of them and never won’t be satisfied.
Redding wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The funny thing is despite the score and the touchdowns we had on defense…there were still a lot of mistakes and techniques that were messed up last night that fans don’t see. That all gets ironed out behind the scenes and so that’s how you create a better team.”
“Even though we dominated that team Sunday night, we still have areas to improve and work on,” Redding said.
Fortunately though, the head coach in John Harbaugh felt like those improvements could wait one week, and a great performance on Sunday night was rewarded with an entire week off for the players, making guys like Redding happy.
“Harbaugh’s a good coach,” Redding said. “He realizes we got a good thing going and the biggest thing for us is to rest…go relax, and get your mind off it a little bit.”
WNST thanks Cory Redding for joining Glenn Clark and is ready to welcome the Ravens back next week at Owings Mills! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!