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“Even though he didn’t coach me, I have known what kind of man and coach he is for a while now,” linebacker Ray Lewis said. “He has an extreme knowledge of the game, and the way he communicates that with his players and fellow coaches is amazing.”

Pagano is a fiery competitor, the kind of coach who will animatedly yell on the sideline at his players, whether it be to show his approval or straighten out a mistake. And that’s just fine with Harbaugh, who has come to expect it.

Chuck is an emotional, enthusiastic guy,” Harbaugh said. “These guys love and respect him.”

Pagano spoke with respect and admiration about Mattison, but when asked how this defense could improve he didn’t hesitate before firing off an answer that addressed the biggest weakness of a team that went 12-4 during the regular season but was outscored 119-80 in the fourth quarter.

In addition, the Ravens blew a 14-point lead in the second half of a season-ending 31-24 loss to Pittsburgh last weekend.

“We’ve got to get better in crunch time as a defensive unit,” Pagano said. “It doesn’t matter what the situation is, we have to learn how to finish games as a football team.”