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Chargers Defense Preps for a Tough Battle

Posted Sep 19, 2013

Defensive Coordinator John Pagano is preparing his unit for a tough test vs. Tennessee.

The Chargers have faced two electric offenses to start the season, and with their full attention focused  on their Week 3 match with the Tennessee Titans, they are expecting another tough test on the road.

As Defensive Coordinator John Pagano said, they’re expecting a battle.

With weapons like former NFL rushing leader Chris Johnson in the backfield and playmakers such as Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker catching Jake Locker’s passes, the Bolts know they will have their hands full this Sunday.

According to Pagano, priority number one is limiting “CJ2K” as well as old friend Jackie Battle.

“Our emphasis is stopping the run, and they run the ball very well,” he said. “They’re a power running game with two different types of backs.  One is that home run game-breaker that can cut inside and cut outside.  He still shows that ability to make those unbelievable cuts.  And then they bring in a guy like Jackie Battle that’s just running downhill that our guys are familiar with playing against him in Kansas City and being here last year.  The type of player he is, it fits their scheme.  They’re a power running football team that loves to mix in the play-action pass to take their shots down field.  That’s what they’re about and that’s what they’ve always been about.”

Still, the defense can’t ignore the passing game.  Tennessee has plenty of weapons through the air to rely on if they were to sell out on the run.

“They’re heavily reliable on that running game (but) you can’t go to sleep on the pass,” Pagano explained.  “Between Britt and (Wright), they have a lot of targets and a lot of weapons.”

Not only that, but the Titans have a hard-hitting offensive line that aides both the run and pass.

“The offensive line’s a great offensive line,” he said. “It’s a physical offensive line.  They go to work every day and they’re productive.  That’s what they count on and that’s why you see the success that they’ve had early in the season.”

So how does Pagano’s defense prepare for Tennessee’s dynamic rushing attack as well as their passing game?

“You’ve got to have the focus and mental mindset each and every play,” he said.  “And you can’t take a play off.  You can’t lose focus at one point, and at times we as a defense have mental lapses that you don’t want out on the field.  We’ve got to show up and play.  This is a good football team.  We’re going on the road; this is their home opener.  We’ve known the type of battles we’ve been in down there and we’re expecting the same from them.  It’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

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