"There's a perception out there, and we have to change it," Pagano said Tuesday, via the team's official website. "This is a grown man's game. It's a physical football game, obviously. And a physical sport. It's a team sport. It doesn't fall on one guy. There's only one way you can play it. You've got to practice it. If you don't practice it and you can't tackle on defense, you're not going to be a good defense. So we're putting an emphasis on it."
The effort to shed the soft label manifested itself in a practice tussle between Hilton and Davis.
"Just competing, that's all," Hilton said. "At the end of the day, guys are going to compete. You want to show that dog. Me and him showed our dog and at the end of the day, as soon as the period was over we shook hands and talked about it. We're just trying to get better and competing and just get guys involved."