|Chargers hire John Pagano|
by Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, January 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm ET
Eric Weddle Profile
The San Diego Chargers hired John Pagano as their new defensive coordinator, a few hours after firing Greg Manusky.
Pagano had coached the Chargers' linebackers since 2005, including Shaun Phillips, Shawne Merriman and Antwan Barnes.
He has been on the staff for the past decade.
"John has worked extremely hard and been very patient to get this opportunity," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "I'm excited about John's experience with this defense, his familiarity with our team and where we can go with his direction.
"John's obviously got an awful amount of experience in this defense. He's been here ten years. I think he has a great understanding of our personnel. I think it's a good fit for us to move forward."
The Chargers declined defensively this season after ranking first the previous year under former defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.
"When the season ends you go and evaluate the things that you feel are critical," Turner said. "Moving forward, I just thought this was the best opportunity for our team to go do the things we're capable of doing.
"I just think right now, for where our team is he's the right fit. We spent a lot of time with John last year when we were in this process. John's continued to grow as a coach. He has a great understanding of what we need to do. Particularly on the defensive front, but also on our overall defense, it was a great fit for us."
Pagano's brother, Chuck Pagano, is the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator.
"It's a very exciting time," Pagano said. "I'd like to thank Norv for giving me this opportunity, but also Dean and A.J. for their support and the support of Ed McGuire. It's a humbling experience also, losing a good friend and coworker that I've learned many things from: Greg Manusky. I'm just thankful and I'm a Charger. I've been here so long in San Diego and it's something I'm looking forward to and very excited about. I can't wait to get started in this process."
Barnes led the Chargers with a career-high 11 sacks.
"First and foremost, we just got to go out as a staff and coach better and we just got to go to play better," Pagano said. "I've had many opportunities to get off the field. With our type of offense and the things that we can do offensively, we have to give them the opportunity to go score. The easiest way for us to do that is try and get as many three-and-outs as we can to put the ball back in our offense. For the most part, we as a coaching and defensive staff have to coach better and we have to go out and play better."
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