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Chargers should be looking for a head coach-defense

Indianapolis Colts v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

As previously reported, the San Diego status quo goes only so far.  The Chargers officially have fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.

“I’d like to thank Greg for the passion and enthusiasm he brought to our team and coaching staff this past season,” coach Norv Turner said in a statement released by the team.

Apparently, passion and enthusiasm doesn’t get it done, absent more wins than losses.  The team points out in the official announcement that the defense has taken a nosedive in one year under Manusky. “San Diego’s defensive ranking dropped to 16th overall, including 20th against the run and 13th against the pass, after leading the NFL in total defense and pass defense in 2010,” the statement, um, states.  “The Chargers’ defense on third down struggled in 2011, falling to last in the NFL after finishing fourth overall in 2010.”

Though the stay-the-course reasoning that saved Turner could have also saved Manusky, the reality is that the Chargers need something more than a defensive coordinator.  They need a head coach-defense to go along with Turner, the team’s head coach-offense.

That’s precisely what the Texans did this year, with head coach-defense Wade Phillips saving head coach-offense Gary Kubiak’s job by transforming a horrible defense into a great one, even though the team shifted from a 4-3 to a 3-4 with no offseason workouts and limited training camp reps.

And so look for the Chargers to possibly move to the front of the Spagnuolo line, offering him plenty of money and the keys to the defense.

The opportunity could be an attractive one for Spagnuolo, based on what he told Anthony Gargano over the weekend on FOX Sports Radio:  “I was very blessed to share an experience in New York where we won a Super Bowl and have that ring that everybody’s shooting for.  I came here in hopes that the people here would be able to experience that.  So what drives me is being able to bring that for other people, and we hope to continue to do that.”

Spags can continue to do that in San Diego, if he’s interested in becoming a head coach-defense.

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33 Responses to “Chargers should be looking for a head coach-defense”
  1. daveyjones1 says: Jan 5, 2012 2:13 PM

    Seems like a good fit to me. Spagnolo does well on defense when he has good talent on the d-line. Then again who doesn’t?

  2. aberystwyth2 says: Jan 5, 2012 2:14 PM

    doesn’t he run a 4-3 and didn’t SD change to a 3-4 a few years back?

  3. 3menandablog says: Jan 5, 2012 2:14 PM

    Great idea. But they won’t.

    This organization will not tolerate strong leadership.

  4. mikeeg says: Jan 5, 2012 2:15 PM

    Hey Bolts fans. Chuck Brainlessman should be available soon….

  5. vaphinfan says: Jan 5, 2012 2:17 PM

    I wouldn’t say Wade Phillips saved Kubiak’s job, I’d have to say Peyton Manning getting hurt saved his job.

  6. giancarloking88 says: Jan 5, 2012 2:17 PM

    I like the move. Who converts to DE if it goes from 3-4 4-3? Phillips?

  7. wlubake says: Jan 5, 2012 2:20 PM

    Spags would have to retro-fit the Chargers’ 3-4 to a 4-3 to run his scheme. I think he’s got the same upside for a ring with other teams that require less tweaking (Philly or Giants).

  8. Keyser Söze says: Jan 5, 2012 2:20 PM

    With all the money Spanos/Smith save running off future HOF free agents, they should have no problem paying Spags top dollar.

  9. JSpicoli says: Jan 5, 2012 2:20 PM

    If the Raiders get Spags or DelRio for DC, I’m happy.

  10. KIR says: Jan 5, 2012 2:22 PM

    The Chargers biggest problem is A.J. Smith PRIDE. He doesn’t keep the GREAT players he drafts. How can any organization overcome a G.M. who nickles and dimes Pro Bowlers (Gates, McNeil, V. Jackson)? Is there any team that has let this many good players walk without any compensation? Brees, Sproles, Michael Turner, Shawne Merriman, Kassim Osgood even retard Cromartie. Now, there’s talk of V. Jackson leaving.

  11. jimmysee says: Jan 5, 2012 2:24 PM

    There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics.

    Green Bay’s defense ranked way worse than San Diego’s — but we don’t see the pitchforks out for Dom Capers.

  12. romangabriel says: Jan 5, 2012 2:24 PM

    Why don’t they issue a statement on the state of the offense???

  13. nagaswan says: Jan 5, 2012 2:27 PM

    And who will be getting him those players? AJ Smith? Excuse me but… hahahahaha!

  14. NakedCowboy! says: Jan 5, 2012 2:29 PM

    spag is an extremely good DC… wish the cowboys go after him and let him gut the secondary and start fresh…

  15. sch00ns says: Jan 5, 2012 2:30 PM

    Chargers fire defensive coordinator Greg Manusky for failing to make Norv Turner look semi-competent as a head coach

  16. shackdelrio says: Jan 5, 2012 2:39 PM

    Jack Del Rio. California guy and except for a blip when the roster was rebuilt, the Jaguars always had a good defense.

  17. childressrulz says: Jan 5, 2012 2:40 PM

    didn’t he have the best defense statistically speaking just last season (2010)?

  18. daveyjones1 says: Jan 5, 2012 2:41 PM

    Changing from a 3-4 to a 4-3 is easier than changing the other way around because most teams already run a lot of nickel with 4 man lines. Switching from a 4-3 to 3-4 requires that you find a two gap tackle big defensive ends and pass rushing OLBs. All of those things are not necessary for a 4-3, but they can be useful.

  19. NoHomeTeam says: Jan 5, 2012 2:43 PM

    “I was very blessed to share an experience in New York where we won a Super Bowl and have that ring that everybody’s shooting for. I came here in hopes that the people here would be able to experience that. So what drives me is being able to bring that for other people, and we hope to continue to do that.

    Except . . .
    Tisch / Mara > Spanos
    Acorse / Reese > Smith

  20. gambleonsports says: Jan 5, 2012 2:45 PM

    Except the chargers run a 3-4… Something Spags doesn’t know much about, and they don’t have the personnel to switch to a 4-3… Nice try though.

  21. Nevis says: Jan 5, 2012 3:13 PM

    Bigger surprise is why the Eagles, Giants or Redskins haven’t already laid out fat offers for Spags.

  22. rockhill32 says: Jan 5, 2012 3:18 PM

    The Texans were not the only team that went out and got a head coach-defense. Sean Payton gave up some of his salary to get Greg Williams and the Packers went out and got Dom Capers. It’s been a successful formula for offensive minded head coaches – get a defensive minded ex-head coach and toss him the keys to the car and let him drive the D.

  23. heckdamonsta says: Jan 5, 2012 3:25 PM

    It doesn’t matter who ur defensive coordinator is if PHILLIP RIVERS doesn’t get his act together and stop turning the ball over theyll continue to struggle.

  24. cambodianbreastmilk says: Jan 5, 2012 3:57 PM

    They’ll stay in-house and promote from within. With the exception of Marty, they always have and always will hire someone with a connection to the organization.

    As a fan, all I have to say is please make sure he doesn’t SUCK.

  25. chargersfan13 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:10 PM

    I am a lifelong Chargers fan and I am so upset about the non-firing of AJ Smith I feel like I could throw up.

    Although Norv has had times where he has made mistakes with clock management or his play calling, overall he is a great play caller and OC. Overall, if given the right players by AJ Smith this team could well afford for Norv to make a mistake.

    Same with Manusky. How do you really evaluate someone on a one year basis? There’s a new HC in SF and its not the same situation from last year. Maybe hes not the greatest DC but blaming him for SDs defensive woes is not fair. And who is to really say he wouldn’t have done great things with this team given a fair chance with capable personnel?

    We can’t know what the heck is going on in Spanos’ brain but what we do know with complete certainty is that AJ Smith is an arrogant prick who gets paid a lot of money to FAIL.

    Not only has he failed on draft day compulsively, but he plays games with great players like Vincent Jackson while he ships out the Michael Turners and Darren Sproles of the world.

    You’d be hard pressed to hurt a team as much as AJ Smith has even if you were actually trying to do it on purpose.

  26. dasmol says: Jan 5, 2012 4:29 PM

    I wonder if River’s 24 turnovers and the resulting field positions/possessions for the opposing teams had anything to do with the decline in defensive numbers.

  27. trollaikman8 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:12 PM

    Nevis says:
    Jan 5, 2012 3:13 PM
    Bigger surprise is why the Eagles, Giants or Redskins haven’t already laid out fat offers for Spags

    ————

    Redskins? They actually have a very good defense and an established defensive guru coaching them.

    The rest of the team is a personnel/talent mess.

  28. robinson4452 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:22 PM

    Good firing, his game plans were the worst I’ve seen in recent memory. Play a 20 yd deep zone against the lions all game long and give up EVERYTHING underneath. Like playing a pevent defense all game. Then rush 3 against broncos and drop 8??? And the 3 didn’t rush they just played contain. Any qb can find open receivers against a zone with 8 seconds to throw. Now if only AJ could be shown the door as well the Chargers would have a chance.

  29. lilrob10201 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:24 PM

    I only see Spags going to the Eagles or Giants or some other 4-3 team that needs defensive help.

  30. Sinan says: Jan 5, 2012 6:43 PM

    The Chargers hired their new defensive coordinator, promoting linebackers coach John Pagano just hours after Greg Manusky was fired Thursday.

    I kind of like the hiring of John. His brother from what i hear is the defensive coordinator for the Ravens and his is a coach’s son.

  31. babbott1918 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:58 PM

    And the hits just keep on coming. As a long time Bolts fan…not sure I can do this anymore.
    AJ Smith gets all the credit for being a “great” drafter”…who’s the last 1st rounder that has done anything?
    I’m not sure there’s a worse motivator than Norv. The team is consistently flat and underacheiving.
    Will all the experts please stop saying the Chargers are talented and are Super Bowl contenders!! Outside of Gates, Phillip, Vjax & Weddle…name 3 other players deserving of the “talented” label. (I had a hard time putting Vinny & Weddle on that list)
    I hope I’m proven wrong but I highly doubt it.

  32. oside760 says: Jan 6, 2012 2:44 AM

    aj smith is too stupid to get a good coach. hence, pagano

  33. joetoronto says: Jan 6, 2012 6:24 AM

    Spanos makes Bidwell look like a big spender.

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