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Replacing Rex


Rex Ryan was officially unveiled as the new head coach of the New York Jets at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

And as the Ravens work diligently to find a replacement for their former defensive coordinator, the search will not reach very far.

Speaking in a season summary news conference one hour after Ryan's presser, head coach **John Harbaugh** explained that he will promote from within the organization.

That leaves a pool of four candidates to supplant Ryan: special assistant **Vic Fangio**, linebackers coach **Greg Mattison**, defensive line coach **Clarence Brooks** and secondary coach **Chuck Pagano**. Former outside linebackers coach Mike Pettine accepted a position as Ryan's defensive coordinator.

"We're talking to different guys right now on the staff trying to figure out what makes us best and makes us strongest," said Harbaugh. "We have a number of good candidates here. They are tremendous coaches, and they all want to do what's best for our football team first and what's best for our players first. We'll work that out the next few days."

In fact, Harbaugh later told a smaller group of reporters that he expected to have a new coordinator in place next week before the Super Bowl.

Fangio has the most coordinator knowledge at the professional level. For 11 seasons (1995-2005), he led the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans' defenses.

For the Ravens, Fangio operates behind the scenes, typically remaining in the booth during games to scrutinize trends of opponents.

Mattison is another strong contender. He may have just completed his first year in the NFL, but the long-time college coach coordinated defenses for 11 years with the University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and most recently, the University of Florida. During that span, Mattison has coached 18 future NFL players, including seven drafted in the first three rounds.

Mattison's term in Baltimore produced Pro Bowlers [Ray Lewisinternal-link-placeholder-0] and [Terrell Suggsinternal-link-placeholder-0].

Brooks has been with the Ravens for four years, the longest tenure of any applicant.

With Brooks tutoring the defensive line, Baltimore has allowed the second fewest rushing yards per game in each of the past three campaigns.

Pagano, along with fellow secondary coach **Mark Carrier**, played a major role in developing a secondary that lost starting cornerback **Chris McAlister** and safety **Dawan Landry** early in the season. The Ravens finished as the league's second-best pass defense, snaring an NFL-high 26 interceptions.

Additionally, safety [Ed Reedinternal-link-placeholder-0], whom Pagano also coached at the University of Miami, had a career showing in 2008, leading the league with nine picks.

The decision to give the position to a Baltimore candidate was based on familiarity. The Ravens have run Ryan's versatile, attacking scheme to stellar results since 2005.

"Why start over?" Harbaugh asked.

"It's certainly going to be the style of defense," he continued. "We're going to be aggressive, attack-oriented, physical. Eleven guys running to the ball every single play, creating turnovers, those are all things that are so important."

Meanwhile, Baltimore may also have a coaching question on the other side of the football.

Because the Ravens' assistants are all under contract, the team can block any more moves if they are not for head coaching positions.

But quarterbacks coach **Hue Jackson**, who was critical in rookie [Joe Flaccointernal-link-placeholder-1]'s maturation, has been linked to offensive coordinator positions with the Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals, where he coached from 2004-06.

The Jets and Bengals currently have offensive coordinators in Brian Schottenheimer and Bob Bratkowski, respectively.

"Hue is one of the best offensive coaches in the league," Harbaugh said. "He's recognized around the league as that. Hue is going to have a lot of opportunities to move up. Now, whether Hue chooses to do that or not this year or next year or sometime down the road, we'll just have to see.

"But Hue Jackson is a shining star, and he's a team guy. He's a humble man. I think he wants what's best for the Ravens right now, but he's going to have plenty of opportunities to go wherever he wants in this profession."

With a coaching staff that many pundits have called the NFL's best, the Ravens could have multiple assistants land head coaching jobs in the future.

Still, seeing Ryan wearing a suit and green-and-white tie at his Jets introduction instead of his trademark sweat suit and beat-up ball cap sent an odd – but proud – vibe around the Ravens' training facility Wednesday.

"That's a great opportunity for Rex," Harbaugh said. "We've lost two very good coaches right here in the building.

"But, do you think he'll get a new hat?" he added with a laugh.

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