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John Pagano Enjoying First Year as Defensive Coordinator
The 2012 season marked John Pagano’s 17th in the NFL and 11th with the San Diego Chargers, but it was also his first as a defensive coordinator in the NFL.
So how does John Pagano characterize his first season?
“It’s fun!” he said during his final weekly press conference of the season. “I had a blast this year with these guys, just being able to present with our coaching staff, being able to give them a plan and letting them go out and execute it. Like I’ve always said, our job as coaches is to put them in a position to make plays and it’s not the call. They’re the ones who make it happen and make the magic. It’s been fun. I’ve learned a lot from week one until now. Like a player out there, you learn something new every day and you always keep that mind open to keep growing in this profession. That’s how you always want to be with it.”
Not only has Pagano enjoyed his inaugural season as defensive coordinator, he’s excelled in it as well. The Chargers rank second in the league with seven defensive touchdowns and are fourth against the run, giving up just 95.1 yards per game on the ground.
“I think he did a really good job,” said head coach Norv Turner. “I think we grew as we went through the year. We made some adjustments early as we went through to fit our personnel and give our guys a chance to be successful. We had a lot of guys playing defense get better so I think that’s an indication of coaching and buying in to the coaching.”
What’s been impressive is that every player on the defensive side of the ball, both veterans and rookies, has indeed bought in. They spent this week praising Pagano for a job well done.
“He’s done a good job for us,” said 11-year veteran Quentin Jammer. “He’s put us in good position to win games, minus a couple games. What I’m impressed with is the fact that we’ve scored points this year on defense. That’s a credit to him because he’s definitely put us in position to make those plays.”
Rookie Kendall Reyes is 10 years Jammer’s junior, yet he agrees completely.
“I like John a lot,” said the second round pick who has come on strong lately. “He’s a great coach and a great person. I’ve been fortunate to have him my first year in the league.”