Pagano hire could be benefit to Ravens off-season plans

January 18, 2011 | Ryan Chell

It didn’t take long for the first domino to fall for the Ravens to have to make a decision on replacing one of coach John Harbaugh’s assistants.

Whether it was their doing or not, we have yet to understand.

But Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison would be leaving the team and is believed to be the next defensive coordinator of the Michigan Wolverines, a position he held previously in his long time coaching career in 1995-1996.

He is expected to run new Wolverines coach Brady Hoke’s defense. Hoke-a former protege of Mattison at Ann Arbor-was recently the head coach of San Diego State.

But what has been confirmed is that the team announced that secondary coach Chuck Pagano will be named Mattison’s replacement.

Pagano,50, will be introduced tomorrow at a press conference.

Pagano has been in the coaching ranks since 1984 when he was a graduate assistant at USC.

He is most known for being a Butch Davis assistant in his travels, as he was Davis’ defensive backs coach at Miami from 1995-2000(also spending time with Ravens safety Ed Reed), and he was secondary coach of the Cleveland Browns for  Davis in 2001 through 2004.

Pagano’s unit in 2001 led the league in interceptions with 33-most notably rookie CB Anthony Henry, who led the league with ten takeaways.

Ironically, most of them came off Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac.

Then, when Davis returned to the collegiate level to take the coaching gig at North Carolina, Pagano was there again-only this time deciding to be Davis’ defensive coordinator.

Pagano then came to Baltimore in 2008 to join John Harbaugh’s staff, and instantly not only had he become a player-coach, but he also is regarded as one of the smartest coaches on the staff.

Pagano very well could have been named defensive coordinator in 2009 instead of Mattison, and it was rumored that former Ravens quarterback coach-now head coach of the Oakland RaidersHue Jackson was calling for Pagano’s services.

This move could be good for two more reasons. One, it could continue to keep Ed Reed in a Baltimore uniform instead of retiring, given Reed’s connection with Pagano going back to the University of Miami.

Secondly, Pagano was the defensive backs coach for the Raiders in  2005-2006, and was a big part in the developing of maybe the best corner in the league, Nnamdi Asomugha.

Asomugha is a free agent after his contract was voided by the Raiders. Could Pagano being at the helm influence his decision?

We’ll see.

We could also maybe seeing some other coaches coming and leaving over the coming weeks.

Tune into WNST and as we continue to follow the Ravens even in the off-season! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!