Vechiarella steps down as defensive coordinator

In the wake of back to back losses, San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Jim Vechiarella steps down.

What started out to be the Chargers Cinderella season, has suddenly turned into something more fitting of the ugly stepsister.

Back to back losses, the result of poor defensive stands during the closing minutes, have dropped this team to one game above .500 as they prepare to face the AFC West rival Denver Broncos.

Not a place that interim-defensive coordinator Jim Vechiarella felt comfortable with, and on Monday he decided to do something about it.

He turned in his resignation, throwing former cornerbacks coach Mark Banker into the fire.

Banker will now direct a defense that sorely misses its full time coordinator, Joe Pascale, who has been unable to attend all but one game this season due to severe back problems, which have required three surgeries since opening day.

The outlook for Pascale's return looks bleaker as time moves on, as Chargers officials face the realization that a return this year is highly unlikely, leaving Banker the ultimate scapegoat against a Broncos team that holds a 9-3 advantage since Mike Shanahan took control in 1995.

"I don't even think about it like that,'' Banker told reporters after practice on Wednesday. ``I think about our players and how we can line up against them and go. I'm not going to make the difference. The players are going to make the difference.''

"We're not that far off from tightening some things, whether it be a call, a technique, a particular play or what have you,'' he said. ``We just want to continue to look at why things happen, try to analyze that, and not repeat the negative history."



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