As the year has gone on, the rumblings have started to intensify.
Could Chuck Pagano be under consideration for a head coaching job after this season is over?
It certainly isn’t something which is out of the question. Pagano has a coaching background which dates back over 25 years, he’s very well-liked by his players and under his direction, the Ravens have the third-ranked defensive unit and have recorded the second-most sacks in the NFL.
Sounds like a fairly qualified head coaching candidate to me.
Pagano’s name has been tossed around the rumor mill quite a bit over the last handful of weeks, but to this point, no one has actually asked the Ravens’ defensive coordinator whether being a head coach is something he’s thought about.
Today, Pagano was asked just that.
“Not at this point,” he said. “I remember going all the way back to when I was a kid growing up, my dad being a football coach. He asked the same question of all the assistants that he ever hired - ‘Is your goal to be a head football coach?’ He always said if somebody had answered him, ‘Not really. I’m OK just being a position coach,’ then I don’t think he really wanted him on his staff. Because he wanted ambitious guys.
“I think if you ask anybody they’d say, ‘Yeah, that would be something you always work for and towards.’ (But right now,) my focus and our focus is on the Cleveland Browns. Period.”
If you look at the defensive coordinators that the Ravens have had in their history, the career path seems to lead to a head coaching job.
Of the four guys that have held the title of defensive coordinator prior to Pagano, three (Rex Ryan, Mike Nolan and Marvin Lewis) have subsequently gotten head coaching gigs.
Pagano might soon follow in their footsteps, but for now, the first-year defensive coordinator says he’s perfectly happy with his current role in Baltimore.
“A dream come true,” Pagano said of the opportunity he’s been given. “If you ask anyone given this opportunity, they’d tell you the same thing. We’ve got great assistant coaches, great guys to work with, great players, great leadership, great organization. I was just in the right place at the right time. I’m very fortunate. Again, it’s been more highs than lows and it’s been exciting watching these guys play.
“It’s been a great experience to this point but until we finish this thing ... our goal is to get to Indy (for the Super Bowl) and be the No. 1 defense in the league. If we don’t accomplish that, it will be a disappointing year as far as I’m concerned.”