John Harbaugh's first priority as the new Ravens' head coach was to assemble a solid coaching team in Baltimore. With the hiring of five assistants Tuesday, Harbaugh believes he put the perfect touches on his initial staff.
The Ravens hired John "Mother" Dunn (asst. strength and conditioning), Marwan Maalouf (asst. special teams), Greg Mattison (linebackers), Chuck Pagano (secondary) and Bob Rogucki (strength and conditioning) to complete the process.
"There are three qualities we wanted from each coach we hired: first, good people with great character; second, outstanding teachers; and third, football expertise," Harbaugh explained. "I believe we got all three qualities with each coach who became a Raven."
Harbaugh, who assumed power Jan. 18, moved quickly in hiring his coordinators. Offensive guru Cam Cameron joined on five days later, while Rex Ryan was brought back after 10.
But Harbaugh wanted to take more time in making sure the final pieces fit into the puzzle.
"It's a diverse group in both experience - with college and the NFL - and age," said the 45-year-old coach. "It's a group that has tremendous energy and enthusiasm for winning. They complement each other well. We took our time, and we were thorough to make sure we got the right coaches for our players."
Pagano, who will work closely with the Ravens' other secondary coach, Mark Carrier, is a tenured collegiate and professional coach. From 1995-2000, he ran the Miami Hurricanes' secondary and special teams and contributed to the powerhouse's stellar defense.
After stints with the Cleveland Browns - where he coached with Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg - and Oakland Raiders, Pagano re-joined his colleague Butch Davis (Miami) at the University of North Carolina as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
"Look at Chuck's track record: No. 1 pass defense with the Raiders in 2006 and outstanding secondaries in Cleveland and back in Miami with players like Ed Reed," Harbaugh noted. "He is detailed, disciplined and will demand toughness from the players. With help from Mark Carrier, Chuck will be responsible for our secondary.
"As another former coordinator added to our staff, he'll be a key in pulling all the parts of our defense together."
Also on defense is Mattison whose has 37 years of coaching at the collegiate level. He comes from the University of Florida (2005-07), where he was co-coordinator of the Gators' stellar defense, one that led the SEC in run defense in 2006 and 2007.
Noting that this is his first foray into the professional ranks, Mattison said that Harbaugh's staff was the right amalgamation of coaches and situation to push him from the NCAA.
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for John, this great staff he's put together and the people in this organization," Mattison explained. "After so many years at colleges, this was the perfect time."
Said Harbaugh: "Greg is a special person. He is one of the best communicators I have ever met and watched coach. He has had other opportunities to be an NFL coach through the years, but always decided to stay in college.
"We recruited him, and got him to cross over. You could check both college and pro coaches about Greg, and they will tell he is among the best coaches there is."
Every player will be well acquainted with Rogucki, who comes to the Ravens after spending the past two campaigns with Harbaugh and the Philadelphia Eagles. He has a 19-year tenure of coaching in the NFL, including one season in Jacksonville (2004) and 14 in Arizona (1990-2003).
"Bob is a key hire for us because he deals with every player on the team, and the work done in strength and conditioning is one of the bases of success for a team. He has 18 years of experience and brings a reputation for getting players to buy into his programs. There's an element of old school in the weight room, and Bob will make it competitive, challenging and fun for the players."
Dunn brings 22 years of pro coaching experience to the weight room in Owings Mills, Md. He has held strength and conditioning positions with several teams, most recently with the Washington Redskins (2004-05 and 1984-86).
Coincidentally, Dunn was a strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants squad that lost to the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.
"To have John's 22 years of experience will mean so much to our program," said Rogucki. "His history is that he gets all of the players to buy into the programs. He's a loyal, dedicated hard worker, and he's open-minded to new training protocols."
Maalouf spent time with Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg in Cleveland from
"Marwan comes to the Ravens as a successful special teams assistant," Rosburg said. "His experience as a teacher and a personnel evaluator will be a valuable asset to our organization, and his expertise will assist me in creating our special teams schemes."
With the complete coaching team at Ravens headquarters, Harbaugh and Co. now turn their focus to the players, with veterans returning in March and April's NFL Draft bringing in a new crop of rookies.