Every Ounce To Coach

     It’s about life lessons and sacrifice as well as football for Maryland Sting and Baltimore Mariner coach Ron Meehan.  And it doesn’t matter if he’s working with players from Pop Warner, high school, college or semi-professional football, he expects “every ounce of energy” they have.  Every ounce.

     He has worked with players at all levels and in more than just football.  Last year he coached his daughter in AAU basketball.  And Meehan’s experience on the field transcends the whistle and clipboard.  He has been a player at many levels as well.  In fact, Meehan was an All-American quarterback at Towson University.   

     He has an unbelievable story about his first experience in professional football.  He was an NFL prospect being looked at by the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Colts. 

     Meehan wound up in Oakland and it didn’t end well. “I was the last cut in 1981.  At 11:45 I got a tap on my shoulder,  15- minutes before you make full roster.”  Meehan said, noting that the Raiders chose to keep an extra wide receiver instead of an extra quarterback, “I made it through the night.” So he thought he was safe.  “But,” he added “I went a lot of further than whole lot of guys.”  

     Meehan likes to root for the Raiders, even though his favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens. (Brendon Ireton!)  His football days were not over after that fateful tap.  He played approximately 17 years of semi-pro ball and won a national title with the Frederick Falcons (CIFL).

Ron Meehan talks offense with perspective Sting players at

Ron Meehan talks offense with perspective Sting players at Ponca Bird.

    Meehan has turned his love for the gridiron into an even greater calling, teaching.  He went back to his alma mater and coached with his all-time favorite coach, Phil Albert.  Why is Albert his favorite?  “His motivational ability and trust and love for his players.”  Occassionally, Meehan and Albert are in contact with each other.  

     As a coach, Meehan knows that the ultimate goal is to get players to perform to the best of their abilities. “If the coach likes to run sweeps and the player doesn’t,” how far is that going to take the team?   

     This was one thing that Meehan enjoyed watching with the Ravens this past season in rookie quarterback Joe Flacco and new offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. “He did [an] excellent job with Flacco, managed the game didn’t ask Flacco to do anything out of character. Good coaches like him will use the weapons they have to take them to the next level.” 

     But still this Perry Hall coach knows there can be a fine line between having control and getting played.  It is his job to “have control and make them believe in you. If you can get guys believeing in you and the system, I mean- and [the system] works, they’ll do anything for you.”

     It appears that this All-American QB has a soft spot in his heart for other quarterbacks.  Not only is he a natural fit as the quarterback coach for the Sting and Mariners but his favorite player is Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath.  Namath played for the New York Jets. According to Meehan, “he never threw a pretty ball, he just won the big game. You know it’s tough playing in New York. He could’ve been the goat or the hero and I liked his style.”  

      So let’s talk style then, skill too.  Would Meehan rather have a player with heart or a player with pure, raw talent to coach? “I’d rather have a kid with heart and drive and will. I think a lot of times, the more talent the individual has the more he has to be passified.  Look at New York, it’s tough up there with the Yankees,” he said. 

     That’s right, he is also an Orioles fan.  A homer to the core.  However, he did note that  he likes to root for the Cubs also, “it’s a growing up thing” and/or a Wrigley Field thing something he didn’t really put his finger on.

     Meehan is a man on the go.  He has six kids and three grandchildren. In addition to coaching the Sting and the Mariners he is a high-school basketball referee and maintains the same workout schedule as he always has.  That’s right, same routine as he did back in his playing days!  Sweet.

     No wonder he demands every ounce!  That’d be almost equal to what he gives.  

For more information on the Maryland Sting visit there website here.

To check out the Baltimore Mariners schedule go here.


Mattison Takes Ryan’s Place

Press Release From Baltimore Ravens:   Jan. 26, 2009  

Ravens Name Mattison Defensive Coordinator, Announce staff changes

The Baltimore Ravens named Greg Mattison their new defensive coordinator Monday afternoon, head coach John Harbaugh announced. Additionally, Harbaugh said Vic Fangio has been promoted to linebackers coach, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg has taken on the title of assistant head coach. 

 “One of the responsibilities a head coach has is to make sure he has the best coaching staff for the players,” Harbaugh stated. “We believe that we have that, and the strides our players made last season are a reflection of that. Our goal was, and is, to continually get better as a team. This staff can make that happen.”

 Mattison, who served as Baltimore’s linebackers coach in 2008, becomes the fourth defensive coordinator in franchise history: Rex Ryan – 2005-08; Mike Nolan – 2002-04; Marvin Lewis – 1996-2001.

 Before joining the Ravens last season – his first in the NFL – Mattison coached for 37 years on the collegiate level, including 10 as a defensive coordinator. From 2005-07, Mattison served as Florida’s co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, helping the Gators win the National Championship in 2006.

 Mattison was also the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 1997-2001 and at Michigan from 1995-96. Under Bob Davie, while heading the Fighting Irish defense, Mattison also coached the defensive line and linebackers. As a member of Tyrone Willingham’s Irish staff (2002-04), Mattison coached the D-line and was the program’s recruiting coordinator.

 Mattison’s ties to the Harbaugh coaching family are deep rooted. Serving as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Jack Harbaugh at Western Michigan from 1981-86, Mattison coached alongside John Harbaugh, who was a graduate assistant for his father from 1984-86.

 “When we persuaded Greg Mattison to join us a year ago, we talked about what a special coach he is,” Harbaugh said. “He has been a successful defensive coordinator at the highest levels of college, and he will succeed with us as our new defensive coordinator.”

Impressively, the Ravens’ three previous defensive coordinators have all earned NFL head coaching jobs. Ryan, whom Mattison succeeds, was hired by the New York Jets last week (Jan. 21). Lewis, a key member of the Ravens’ 2000 Super Bowl Championship team, has spent the past six seasons as head coach of the Bengals, while Nolan served as the 49ers’ head coach from 2005-08.

Current Jacksonville head coach Jack Del Rio, who coached Baltimore’s linebackers from 1999-2001, spent one season (2002) as Carolina’s defensive coordinator before earning the Jaguars’ top job in 2003.

As for Fangio, he takes on a new role in Baltimore after spending the past three seasons as special assistant to the head coach/defense. A 30-year coaching veteran, including 23 in the NFL, Fangio has been a defensive coordinator with three NFL teams: Carolina – 1995-98; Indianapolis – 1999-2001; Houston – 2002-05.

“Vic Fangio, recognized as one of the league’s top defensive coaches, has agreed to coach our linebackers, and he’s the right man for that job,” Harbaugh added. “Plus, he’ll continue to help us with his special abilities to prepare for the next opponents.”

As an assistant with New Orleans from 1986-94, Fangio coached the vaunted “Dome Patrol,” the Saints’ stellar corps of Pro Bowl linebackers that included Ricky Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills and Vaughan Johnson. As Carolina’s defensive coordinator, Fangio coached a trio of All-Pro linebackers in Lamar Latham, Sam Mills and Kevin Greene.

In addition to the promotions of Mattison and Fangio, Harbaugh pointed out the contributions of several other defensive coaches: “Retaining Clarence Brooks for the defensive line and Chuck Pagano and Mark Carrier for the secondary is important. Look what Clarence did with his group last season. For that matter, look at how his players have developed and produced for the Ravens for the last four seasons. When you look at the players we lost through injuries in the secondary and how other players stepped up to complete our defense, you see the superb job done by Chuck and Mark with our defensive backs.”

In naming Rosburg assistant head coach, Harbaugh saluted the 31-year coaching veteran, who joined the Ravens in 2008 after building a successful NFL special teams resume both with the Cleveland Browns (2001-06) and Atlanta Falcons (2007).

“With Jerry Rosburg’s overall knowledge of the game, he’ll also help me as assistant head coach,” Harbaugh stated.”

Fangio’s Coaching Background (30 Seasons):

(1979-81) (Dunmore HS, PA); 1982 (Milford Academy); 1983 (North Carolina); 1984-85 (USFL-Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars); 1986-94 (New Orleans Saints); 1995-1998 (Carolina Panthers); 1999-2001 (Indianapolis Colts); 2002-05 (Houston Texans); 2006-08 (Baltimore Ravens)

Mattison’s Coaching Background (38 Seasons)

1971-73 (Riverdale HS, WI); 1974-75 (Logan White HS, WI); 1976 (Illinois); 1977 (Cornell); 1978-80 (Northwestern); 1981-86 (Western Michigan); 1987-88 (Navy); 1989-1991 (Texas A&M); 1992-1996 (Michigan); 1997-2004 (Notre Dame); 2005-07 (Florida); 2008 (Baltimore Ravens)

Rosburg’s Coaching Background (31 Seasons) 1979-80 (Fargo Shanley HS, ND); 1981-86 (Northern Michigan University); 1987-91 (Western Michigan); 1992-95 (University of Cincinnati); 1996 (University of Minnesota); 1997-98 (Boston College); 1999-2000 (Notre Dame); 2001-06 (Cleveland Browns); 2007 (Atlanta Falcons); 2008 (Baltimore Ravens)

Bye D-Rex

So Rex Ryan is off to the J-E-T-S- Jets, Jets, Jets.  Sad to see him go, but we knew it was coming.  Clearly, Ryan was a player’s coach as is evident through these remarks:

With him, it was his ability to connect with his players, get down to their level and become one of them. Bart Scott

We’re his guys. I mean, look at this locker room. There are some strong personalities on this defense to deal with, real strong personalities. But Rex handles it. He’s got a strong personality, too. Nobody disrespects Rex – nobody. We all play for him. Samari Rolle

You want to give your heart out for Rex. I don’t know what it is about him, but I hope he never changes. That’s exactly why in a heartbeat, no matter what he’ll ask me to do, I’ll do it.T-Sizzle

His personality, his coaching ability, the way he inspires guys and how guys trust him… You can’t replace that. He’s unbelievable.” Jarrett Johnson.

Excerpted quotes taken from Ravens.com by Mike Duffy, Baltimore Ravens content writer.  Thanks Mike, love your work and want your job (LOL!).  

D-Rex began with Baltimore in 1999 as a d-line coach. In 2005 he took the reigns as Defensive Coordinator.  Sure he had serious talent to work with- Ray Lewis as a driving force.  But football is a family business (father Buddy and twin-brother Rob have illustrious NFL experience) and an endearing passion for Ryan. 

Certainly, the million dollar question for Ryan now is what up with Favre? Of course, the Gotham media addressed that question but how would Ryan know?  If history has taught us anything, we know Favre is the only one with that answer…and sometimes he is a bit indecisive.   

Ryan and the Jets might put an even greater hurting on us Baltimore fans by going after some of our big-gun free agents like Lewis and Scott.  After all, this is business.  Oh snap, this could get ugly!

No word yet on who is taking over for Ryan.  

Thanks Rex.  It's been real!
Thanks Rex. It's been real! Photo: Ravens website