Monday the Raiders made a big move, hiring former long time Chargers assistant John Pagano as Assistant Head Coach -- Defense. Pagano had spent the past 15 years in San Diego, the past five seasons as Defensive Coordinator.
Pagano and Jack Del Rio served together on the coaching staff with the Saints in 1997. It was Del Rio’s first coaching job as an assistant Strength Coach.
Over Pagano’s 15 years with the Chargers, he worked his way up from Defensive Quality Control in 2002, to Assistant Linebackers coach, to outside linebackers coach, to linebackers coach, receiving promotions every season.
He served as Linebackers coach for 8 years from 2005-11 before finally getting the call as Defensive Coordinator in 2012.
Over his five seasons as DC in San Diego, Pagano’s defense ranked 13th in the NFL in total net yards per game allowed (348.1). Last season, the Chargers’ defense tied for the NFL lead with 18 interceptions – led by Pro Bowl CB Casey Hayward’s seven.
It’s hard to know for sure how his role will affect Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr who was retained despite the Raiders considerable defensive struggles this season.
The team instead fired Defensive Backs coach Marcus Robertson and have yet to announce a replacement.