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Chargers promote Pagano to defensive coordinator job

J. Pagano AP

The Chargers won’t be going after any big names at defensive coordinator.

The team announced Thursday that linebackers coach John Pagano was promoted to defensive coordinator. He’s been with the organization for a decade.

Pagano called the promotion “bittersweet” because he considers deposed defensive coordinator Greg Manusky a “mentor” in the business.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune indicated that the Chargers regret not simply promoting Pagano last year instead of hiring Manusky.  Of course, the men responsible for passing on Pagano last year haven’t been held accountable.

Perhaps the most important trait a head coach can have is his ability to self-scout and hire the right staff. Norv Turner hired Ted Cottrell as his first defensive coordinator, and then fired him after a year.

Turner picked Manusky to lead the defense last year despite having Pagano on the staff for years, and now essentially has admitted he made a mistake.

Perhaps Pagano, 44, will prove to be a great hire.  His brother Chuck has done a great job in Baltimore

But if John Pagano succeeds, it will just show the Chargers didn’t know what they were doing a year ago, wasting another season of Philip Rivers‘ prime with poor decision making.

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32 Responses to “Chargers promote Pagano to defensive coordinator job”
  1. ravensfan4life52 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:27 PM

    When I saw Pagano I was thinking Chuck and got very confused and angry all at once. I’m very happy to see it’s not Chuck. hahaha

  2. mjbulls45 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:27 PM

    who cares about the Chargers…

    they are gonna lose V-Jackson ,

    and they are last in the totem pole in the state of california behind the raiders and 49ers…

    they have 0 rings, and are 3rd in popularity,

    outside of San Diego no one likes the Chargers,

    maybe some teenage girls who like the powder blue jerseys… but thats about it

    no tough guy is walkin around in powder blue, I can tell u that much

    all you see is red & gold or silver & black in cali…

  3. westmantooth says: Jan 5, 2012 7:30 PM

    Hilario!

  4. sf69ers says: Jan 5, 2012 7:30 PM

    Well at least he is on the defensive staff. Ask Philly how promoting within went. Manusky was average in SF as well. Glad he left. The bend but don’t break defense is difficult to watch.

  5. dougydougdoug says: Jan 5, 2012 7:32 PM

    Luckily, they didn’t utterly and completely throw Manusky under the buss on his way out. Oh, wait…

  6. sdcameron says: Jan 5, 2012 7:35 PM

    Norv wanted to hire Rivera, not Cortrell, but AJ was friends with Cortrell, he was his guy, and hired him anyways.
    Hopefully Pagano can be more like his brother and Rivera than Teddy and Manusky.

  7. coloboltfan says: Jan 5, 2012 7:46 PM

    Same old, same old…God forbid SD gets a guy in there with the nuts to tell AJ that his secondary has sucked for 40 years and to do something about it….

  8. kevpft says: Jan 5, 2012 7:49 PM

    Whew – has there ever been such a breathtaking, dramatic change as what we’ve seen this offseason with the Chargers? So much in need of change, and they have addressed it in bold and dynamic fashion.

    There are rumors they might be replacing the guy that washes the Gatorade containers, though. A.J. Smith doesn’t like him, apparently.

  9. grogansheroes says: Jan 5, 2012 7:52 PM

    Sounds like the D will be more of the same. Looks like a money saver to me, what with all the tickets they will not sell with the Wonderful World of Norv still there.

  10. dougydougdoug says: Jan 5, 2012 7:53 PM

    mjbulls45 – “Outside of San Diego, no one likes the Chargers”

    Riddle us this, smart guy:

    If the Raiders are more popular than the Chargers, then please explain why CBS chooses to broadcast the SD games to the 10-million LA county residents, and NOT the Raiders games? Don’t see many 49ers games down here in SoCal, either, sport.

    Please. Help us with your special genius math.

  11. joemcrugby says: Jan 5, 2012 7:58 PM

    Perhaps the most important trait a head coach can have is his ability to self-scout and hire the right staff. Norv Turner hired Ted Cottrell as his first defensive coordinator, and then fired him after a year.

    _________________________

    Gregg,

    AJ Smith hired Ted Cottrell as defensive coordinator in 2007. When Norv Turner accepted the head coaching position, it was on the condition that Ted Cottrell would be his defensive coordinator.

    Interestingly, Ron Rivera was Turner’s proposed choice as Cowboys defensive coordinator when Turner had interviewed with the Cowboys one week earlier. However, Wade Phillips got the Cowboys job, so Rivera was hired by Turner as the linebackers coach. When AJ Smith’s d-coordinator Cottrell got the axe in mid-2008, Norv’s original guy Rivera took over.

    Rivera ended up being a pretty decent choice given that he got the Panthers head coaching gig within 15 months of his defensive coordinator appointment.

    Manusky didn’t work out, but he’s the first d-coordinator selected by Norv in SD who was shown the door.

    Now Norv has appointed Pagano whom had been offered the defensive coordinator postion by Jim Mora Jr. last week. We’ll see how it works out, but Turner is one for two in defensive coordinator picks and wouldn’t have needed a second coordinator had his first one not been so successful.

  12. nocookies28 says: Jan 5, 2012 8:05 PM

    Ravens’ coaches brothers are taking over the west coast.

  13. lilrob10201 says: Jan 5, 2012 8:07 PM

    I am waiting for the Eagles to fire their DC also and sign a man with a name that goes by Spags.

  14. bleed4philly says: Jan 5, 2012 8:20 PM

    Good job cuz! Proud of you!

  15. brenenostler says: Jan 5, 2012 8:25 PM

    Funny, 4 days ago UCLA said Pagano was going to be their DC.

  16. soxpatsbscelts says: Jan 5, 2012 8:35 PM

    They will not accomplish anything because they brought back Norv Turner. He is no better than schottenheimer was. Norv Turner………Turn Over.

  17. redthomas23 says: Jan 5, 2012 8:47 PM

    Promoting someone like this just makes it more obvious that turner is in a lame duck year before they move to la.

  18. khuxford says: Jan 5, 2012 8:53 PM

    Like I said in the Spags article, it was stupid to think they were going to make a play for a big name DC when the reason they kept Smith and Turner was really because Spanos didn’t want to pay two guys NOT to work. He’s cheap. So, of course, he elevates someone already on his staff because they’ll take less and replacing a LB coach is a low profile gig he doesn’t have to spend big on.

  19. lanzurrah says: Jan 5, 2012 9:47 PM

    @coloboltfan

    Yes, the pass defense has been sooooo atrocious for so very long…..I mean, they were ranked 13th this year.

    They were the #1 pass defense last year, and 11th the year before. Try again.

  20. raiderapologist says: Jan 5, 2012 9:51 PM

    But if John Pagano succeeds, it will just show the Chargers didn’t know what they were doing a year ago, wasting another season of Philip Rivers‘ prime with poor decision making.

    Philip had a lot to do with wasting another season of Philip’s prime with all those picks he had this season. Unless of course Manusky was whispering in Philip’s earpiece, “Throw it now! Just chuck it, Phil. It’s all good!”

  21. raidermark says: Jan 5, 2012 10:18 PM

    Bwahahahahahahhahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ohhhh man. that felt good to laugh like that. Like this guy is gonna make chicken salad out if chicken $hit.

  22. sourdough says: Jan 5, 2012 10:26 PM

    Gotta love Raider fans and their bold talk considering the team stinks from top to bottom.

    – Nine straight seasons w.o a winning record (current streak).
    – Seven consecutive seasons w at LEAST eleven losses (an NFL record).
    – Set NFL record for Most Penalties/Yards in a season in 2011.
    – Finished 29th in total Defense.
    – Gave away a 1st round draft pick in next years draft (possibly two 1st round picks) for Carson Palmer, only to miss the playoffs, as usual.

    Commitment to Excrement!

  23. mikespimpin says: Jan 5, 2012 10:30 PM

    @raidermark, i’d say that would be pretty impressive

  24. yevrag3535 says: Jan 5, 2012 10:35 PM

    Almost out of the Andy Reid book. These guys have got to go.

  25. coloboltfan says: Jan 5, 2012 10:53 PM

    Hey lanzurrah!

    Yes, the pass defense has been sooooo atrocious for so very long…..I mean, they were ranked 13th this year.

    They were the #1 pass defense last year, and 11th the year before. Try again.
    _____________________

    Don’t even have to try…if you had actually watched them play last year, you would realize that the #1 D last year was a flukey result of terrible special teams [remember that?] resulting in terrible def field position (= less yards to go) and SD’s offense being on the field a lot ( a good thing).
    If you watched them this year and the last 40+ years, you would realize that the secondary has been a constant abject failure. Occasional good D lines and great LB’s, but since Rodney H. left, zip nada. Don’t toss BS stats out there. If 1st D and 1st O meant anything, we might even have made the playoffs.

  26. slapyourselfstupid says: Jan 5, 2012 10:57 PM

    mjbulls45 says:
    Jan 5, 2012 7:27 PM
    who cares about the Chargers…

    they are gonna lose V-Jackson ,

    and they are last in the totem pole in the state of california behind the raiders and 49ers…

    they have 0 rings, and are 3rd in popularity,

    outside of San Diego no one likes the Chargers,

    maybe some teenage girls who like the powder blue jerseys… but thats about it

    no tough guy is walkin around in powder blue, I can tell u that much

    all you see is red & gold or silver & black in cali…
    __________________________________

    And this is coming from a boy who has the handle of a Chicago sports legend. Go figure. We remember you MJBULLS45. You were molested by a Charger fan while you were younger. It’s ok. Let it go. Just remember, your Mom still pays your internet bill. One day you will grow up and forgive the Charger fan who took your manhood.

    I see you are easily impressed by the outward appearance of “tough guys”. Dang you are a simpleton. Picked on much as a kid?

    Do the research. Your ignorant post shouldn’t even warrant a response, but your are a humor girl, so let me set you “straight”, so to speak.

    As a matter of fact, shoot me an email and as a grown man I will fly out of L.A. and come meet you on my own dime wearing a powder blue. Sound good? Now coward up and fold like a lawn chair.

  27. alan226 says: Jan 6, 2012 12:21 AM

    The Chargers have been chronic underachievers for 10 years. Firing the coordinator when the GM and coach have SUCKED for 10 years. Alot like re-arranging the decks chairs on the Titanic. The game has passed by Marty Schottenheimer, I mean Norv Turner

  28. oside760 says: Jan 6, 2012 2:42 AM

    chargers suck. i dont care. nothing will help that team

  29. joetoronto says: Jan 6, 2012 5:52 AM

    slapyourselfstupid:

    You’re a “grown man” but you’re going to “fly out to LA” to scrap the guy?

    Ya, a grown man would do that based on something said on a football website.

    You’re a loser just like those powder blue wearing losers the call the Chargers.

  30. cshearing says: Jan 6, 2012 8:29 AM

    …or maybe Pagano was not ready until now? He says Manusky was a mentor, so he must have learned some things this year.

  31. bradshawlives says: Jan 6, 2012 11:18 AM

    mjbulls45 says:
    “no tough guy is walkin around in powder blue, I can tell u that much

    all you see is red & gold or silver & black in cali…”

    Yeah, because when you think tough guys, you think San Francisco…..not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  32. raiderapologist says: Jan 6, 2012 4:32 PM

    sourdough says: Jan 5, 2012 10:26 PM

    Gotta love Raider fans and their bold talk considering the team stinks from top to bottom.

    It’s not bold talk. It’s sh** talk, and it’s what we do. It’s what most fans do, even Charger fans. They just aren’t very good at it. Sure, the Raiders set a record for penalties. They had a crappy defense. They overpaid for a quarterback after their starter went down. Their owner died. They had a rookie head coach. They finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs. Too bad they weren’t as successful as the Chargers, who went, umm, 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

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