Like everyone else, the Ravens heard the news of Chuck Pagano’s diagnosis with leukemia Monday morning.
The Ravens' former defensive coordinator and first-year Colts head coach is in an Indianapolis hospital battling the form of cancer, but is expected to make a full recovery.
"It hit our heart this morning when we heard the news, and we just can't believe it's Chuck – one of ours," cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "We know he's a Colt, but he's still one of us. We send all of our heart and condolences to him. It hit us hard this morning."
Webb, Head Coach John Harbaugh and other players have been texting with Pagano throughout the day. They've heard back from him as well.
"He said he's going to fight it, he's going to work through it," Webb said.
The Ravens were already confident of that.
"Chuck's a fighter in every respect. Chuck's got that swagger," Harbaugh said. "I'm completely confident Chuck will go to work on this with the same enthusiasm he does everything else in life and he'll be victorious."
Pagano, who was with the Ravens from 2008 to 2011, was very well-liked by his players. He also helped lead the defense to its No. 3 ranking last year.
Webb talked about how Pagano was just like one of his teammates, not a coach. He was constantly joking around, having a good time in a serious job.
"He has that smile and kind of walks around a little bit like a gunslinger," veteran center Matt Birk added. "He just has a great attitude. He kind of brings a smile to your face. He has a great spirit and certainly my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."
Pagano sent Harbaugh a text message that the Ravens head coach shared with the team.
"I can't really repeat it here, but it was real positive and very forthright about how he expects our guys to play," Harbaugh said with a grin. "Our guys loved it. Chuck's a great friend. He's a great guy. He was a great Raven. We all love him. Chuck's going to be fine."