On one hand, it’s got to be nice for the Ravens to know that their defensive coordinators are consistently so highly thought of around the league that they keep getting plucked to become head coaches elsewhere.
On the other hand, you have to wonder if the Ravens’ brass are just left muttering, “Enough already.” Steve Bisciotti might just wish he could hire a solid defensive coordinator that’s willing to hang around for a handful of years and create some stability on that unit.
The Ravens said all the right things yesterday. Those within the organization truly are happy for Chuck Pagano, a tireless worker and overall good guy. Pagano comes from a coaching family and certainly had a head coaching job coming in his future at some point.
“We are so happy for Chuck, Tina and their daughters,” Harbaugh said in a statement released by the team. “We are proud of him. Like me, Chuck grew up in the game and loves it. We will miss him and thank him for all he did for the Ravens.”
When word broke that Pagano would interview for the Colts job, I had a feeling he would find a way to become a serious candidate despite the fact it was his first ever interview for an NFL head coaching gig. He’s passionate about what he does, has a sense of confidence that fits well in today’s NFL and definitely has a way with words. I see him sitting down for an interview and being able to sell himself - and then delivering on his promises. Given the way he gets his players to completely buy in and give their all for him, Pagano should be an excellent head coach.
But while the Ravens are happy for Pagano, they would have loved for him to stick around for another year or two. Pagano’s aggressive nature was exactly what the Baltimore defense needed this season, and the players (especially some key veterans) will miss his intensity, leadership and ability to relate to them on a non-football level.
As far as a replacement goes, Dean Pees makes a lot of sense. He has coordinator experience on a big stage and has spent the last two years as the Ravens’ linebackers coach, getting to know the personnel and how the unit operates.
The Ravens like promoting from within when it comes to their defensive coordinator position, and Pees seems to fit the bill. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to hear that the former Patriots coordinator will be getting the bump sometime in the next week or so.
As far as the offensive coordinator position goes, there are now rumblings that Cam Cameron will be signing a new contract and staying on board. The Sun is reporting that Cameron will remain as offensive coordinator but will hire a quarterbacks coach. Last season, Cameron and offensive assistant Craig Ver Steeg served as pseudo QB coaches.
Cameron’s offense hasn’t seen large statistical improvements in his four years at the helm, but he’s helped get this team to two AFC championship games in that time and has overcome some fairly significant hurdles (lack of downfield passing threats in the early years, shaky offensive line play more recently) when it comes to personnel and performance.
It would have been hard to believe a week ago that of the Ravens’ two main coordinators, Cameron would be the one to stay and Pagano would be the one to go.
But that’s the way this all might shake out.