More Harbs: Ravens coach on Ngata, Pagano, the CBA

February 16, 2011|By Matt Vensel

As I mentioned in a previous post, Ravens coach John Harbaugh predicted big things for Joe Flacco on the "Norris & Davis Show" Wednesday morning. He also had interesting things to say about Haloti Ngata, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagno and the collective bargaining agreement.

OK, so maybe those statements weren't as as interesting as Harbaugh saying Joe Flacco will lead the Ravens to multiple championships, but they are still worth mentioning nonetheless.

Speaking about the Ravens slapping the franchise tag on Ngata, Harbaugh said that the Ravens want to sign the Pro Bowl defensive tackle to a long-term deal but NFL rules prevent the deal from getting done until a new collective bargaining agreement gets worked out.

"It’s impossible to sign him to a contract right now," Harbaugh told Ed Norris and Steve Davis. "His salary can only go up 30 percent from what it was a year ago, so obviously that’s not going to be enough to get Haloti signed. So you just can’t do it. Our only other option is to let him go to free agency and obviously we’re not going to do that. This is a way to get us to the point where we can negotiate and get the deal done.

"It’s something we’ve got to get done and I’m sure we will."

Harbaugh was asked about new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, whom Harbaugh said his players love.

"They love his style. I love his style. I love the way he coaches," the Ravens coach said. "He and I see, I think, football from the same perspective. He’s a back-end guy just like I am."

Woah, too much information there, John.

Anyway, back to football, Harbaugh sounded pretty pumped about working with Pagano, who last month was promoted from his old job as defensive backs coach to replace Greg Mattison.

"He wants to get after people and be aggressive. Greg did, too, but Chuck’s got a certain edge and a great personality," Harbaugh said. "He’s fiery. He’s aggressive. He’s very knowledgeable.

"I walked into his office [at team headquarters in Owings Mills] just this morning and you look up at the board and there were over 100 defenses on that board. I'm like, 'Man, you know what, we’re getting some work done here.' I know we can’t run all of these, but these are the things he’s looking at. … I’m excited about what our defense is going to look like next year."

Next year? Well, if there is a next year, right? What about that looming lockout?

"I cannot imagine that they wouldn’t get this thing resolved. And maybe I’m biased. Maybe it’s wishful thing, but how can we not play football?" Harbaugh said. "There’s too much at stake. Guys make too much money. It means too much to people. Get it fixed. Get it resolved. Let’s go."

Amen, John. Amen.

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