Pagano Ready To 'Wreak Havoc'

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New Ravens Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano's philosophy mirrors that of his players' and coordinators before him.

It's the Ravens' philosophy.

"Let's go out and wreak havoc," Pagano said, "and play Ravens defense just the way they have played for many, many years around here.

"This hasn't changed and it ain't going to change. They've always been an attacking, swarming, tough, physical, hard-nosed group of men."

Departing Ravens Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison was one of the most aggressive coordinators in the NFL this season, according to blitzing statistics.

But amongst fans, Mattison also became known for his propensity to use a three-man rush. It was the play used when the Pittsburgh Steelers converted a critical third-and-19 in the Ravens' divisional playoffs loss this past Saturday.

Pagano is a secondary coach that has preached not giving up the big play during his three years in Baltimore.

But he attested that he's also of the aggressive mindset.

"I've always been around defenses that have been attacking defenses," Pagano said. "There's a time and a place [to blitz]. I know [Coach Harbaugh] is an aggressive guy and comes from an aggressive philosophy. I know these [players] like to play that way. So we're going to be aggressive."

The Ravens' last two defensive coordinators hailed from the front lines. Rex Ryan was a defensive line coach in Baltimore for six years before moving to coordinator. Mattison was the Ravens' linebackers coach in 2008 before assuming play-calling duties.

Despite his background as a secondary coach, Pagano also understands the value of stopping the run. He said his father taught him that during his 30 years of coaching.

"I've been hearing about stopping the run my whole life," said Pagano, who has 27 years of coaching experience. "You've got to be able to run the football and stop the run to have a chance at any level. It's always our top priority."

The Ravens' defense finished fifth in the NFL against the run (93.9 yards per game) and 21st versus the pass (224.9 ypg) this season.

When asked what needed to improve on defense to get the Ravens to a Super Bowl, Pagano talked about finishing games.

The Ravens lost fourth-quarter leads in all four of their regular-season defeats and also in five wins. Pagano said he will take a "close look" at the end-of-half and end-of-game situations.

"We've got to get better in crunch time," Pagano said. "We all know, just going back to the last ballgame [in Pittsburgh], when there's a third-and-10 and a third-and-forever, you've got to get off the field. We have to finish. We have to learn how to finish games as a football team."

Above all, Pagano wants his system to stay the course.

Baltimore's defense has ranked in the NFL's top 10 each of the past seven seasons and 10 of the past 11.

"That's the beauty of Ravens defense and being in this situation I'm in," Pagano said. "We've tweaked things and this thing has John's flavor in it and it'll have a little bit of mine and mostly these players. But they've been very, very good over the years here because of continuity."

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