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Fire John Pagano

Nov 1, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

I am ready to call it. I saw what he did last season and again watching it all happen again this season. The Chargers defense is soft and does not have the personality that it should. It still stinks of that Norv Turner era. We need to change things up and I am ready to see something happen now.

Of course they are not going to fire their defensive coordinator 3 games into the season, but when things look the way they do, then something needs to change. Coach John Pagano is one of the remaining pieces that was kept over from the Norv era and his side of the football is struggling the most. The secondary looks like a joke with the players that he has running around back there and the front 7 has done nothing. Where are they? Where is Corey Liuget? Where is Kendall Reyes?

Who would I want there? We aren’t going to be picking up Lovie Smith to run the defense…. even though that would be phenomenal. Are there any available good defensive coordinators out there?

Topics: San Diego Chargers

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  • PakMaN

    Disagreed, you’re over reaching now. We went into this offseason with little to no cap space, got rid of trash (cason and Jammer), and gave a ton of money to a average CB who hasn’t played a full season in his life. Not to mention the depth of that side of the football is thinner than a used condom.

    I would like to see JP here for years to come, I feel with TT’s skills, we can build a top 5 defense in 2 years. You’re complaining about the secondary as if the guys he was given talent to work with. The secondary has been a joke for YEARS. Maybe that Cunt AJ should have drafted a pair of CB’s instead of letting LT walk and trading up for a busted RB.

    • joerockt

      PakMaN droppin TRUTH.

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    I’d take Lovie right now in a heart beat, I kinda hope it’s the crappy play of NT Cam Thomas that is making Reyes and Liuget look like mediocre players, he can’t handle any double teams and can;t create much space for either End to make plays. We need a high quality NT SS and 2-3 new CB’s next year and we are money.

    I hope if anything we don’t keep throwing Gilchrist out there thinking he is going to turn it around or he just needs games under his belt to get better. It’s time to make a change there now.

    • Brandon Reisinger

      A NT and SS next year would really do it! Could move Gilchrist back to nickle corner where he belongs and I think Cox and Wright are serviceable corners if they are getting the safety help over the top. Biggest problem to date IMO is Weddle has needed to be up in the box on almost every down cause we have 2nd and 3rd string guys at both ILB positions right now. Leaving Gilchrist out there with deep responsibilities breaking late or not at all on every deep ball thrown.

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

        Who’s the Big name NT’s and SS in college this year?

        • Conor

          NT: Louis Nix. Daniel McCullers.
          SS: Hakeem Smith, Craig Loston, Dion Bailey, possibly Karlos Williams although he moved to RB after summer

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Cox has been a huge disappointment IMO. So has Marshall… even Wright, to a lesser degree. I hope we don’t get too used to that “serviceable” term again. That’s what everyone kept saying about the two we just fired. NT & SS next year is the business!!!

        • Brandon Reisinger

          You’re right “Serviceable” is not a good word. I thought Cox looked WAY better this week! But that might be cause the titans knew we had nobody on the other side, however he did have a few big passes he broke up. I really do think Wright is going to be a stud, he’s only got 2 games under his belt. Like i said above Weddle has been playing more of a linebacker role and Gilchrist is just not gonna work at SS. I think once Te’o and Butler are back on the field Weddle can do what he does and give these corners the coverage over the top they need.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Thank you. Gilchrist is a failed experiment, and was from the start. I knew it was a bad idea from the get-go, and they still haven’t done anything about it. It might be too late now.

      • arnie

        Jahleel was better at SS than gilcrist.

  • tubbs45

    Pagano is fine and can trun it around, but our talent level is not. Pag’s has got to change what he is doing in the 4th quarter, the soft Zone and hybrid prevent crap has got to go…
    Well last week might have saved Ron Riveras job, but I’d love for him to be back…

    • Aaron Kinard

      yep. Pagano is not the problem. I laugh at all the dramatic charger fans. CALM DOWN. Look at the rosters on good teams and look at ours. Why is it always the coaches fault? WE HAVE NO DEPTH guys!! Look at the Seahawks D and look at ours. If you want to really see how it is then look at us in the pre season….. Our scrubs vs. other teams scrubs. We always get smoked because we have no depth. It’s gonna take a few years to rebuild so calm down and just enjoy watching on sundays and put the rope away.

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

        Even still you can’t keep loosing games in which you have the lead late, if someone is out there that can help change that why wouldn’t you do it? They aren’t going to fire him but if he keeps blowing leads in close games we certainly have to address that problem.

        • Calman21

          I look at like this, if we aren’t going to the SB this year, I would rather get a top 10 pick and have a better chance at guys we need for a good season next year (see the Chiefs). If he sucks all year odds are the guy is gone next year, but we really are lacking talent in the secondary.

          • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

            Top 10 Draft pick in each round would be nice and is exactly what we need for building depth.

          • Calman21

            Yep. So honestly I am just along for the ride. Our offense gives me hope that with added cap space and some good picks next year we could be looking really good. I really am sticking with my original prediction of 6-10 for the year… top 10 offense and bottom 3 defense.

      • Stefanie Smith

        Yes, I understand we have no depth, but our D can’t even hold the Titans for a minute and a half. Maybe it was even less than that. Ridiculous.

        We should have had that game. But noooooo… we have no depth.

      • C.Steele

        Aaron I totally agree! I’ve been saying the same thing. I actually posted the same sentiments to Ernie on Monday, after his initial meltdown. (he never responded. After reading this article I I understand why, he still isn’t over it). We have absolutely no depth! And, we had key starters missing all over the field! When that happens we will loose. Plain and simple! Now, I do think that defensive call that TN scored the gaming winning TD on was a head scratcher ( I actually had to google the CB to find out who the hell he was). Wouldn’t want to see a repeat of that hideous call, but over all I just enjoy the games trusting that over the next couple years we will get better via the draft… #GoBolts!

  • Tim

    Lovie would be great r defense is soft I want my corners to press bump and run coverage .I think we need to play with passion heart and aggression other team think r defense is weak and soft.As a die hard fan I’m hurt we can do better 3-0 should be r record.Tom needs to fire him Now

  • Trey P

    Yes who pus 8 men in the box on obvious passing downs either he was paid to give that td up or he really is clueless

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      thank you!

  • Andy Knaus

    No patience at all. Teams are not built in 3 weeks or even 1 season. They have some solid pieces to build around, but this will take time. I love the bolts, but i’m being realistic in that this regime will need a year or two to make them into contenders again. Key now is to allow all these young guys snaps in order to get acclimated to playing high intensity football, get reps so they learn. If anyone was dreaming big this year, you are delusional. Let the coaches coach as most of us don’t even understand the schemes they are trying to run. As a fan i have put faith in TT and McCoy to turn the ship around, but cmon people, It’s not overnight.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Can you list the solid pieces on the defense? The ones that have actually played. And as to allowing these young guys to learn–they should have done that in training camp. You don’t see the buffoonery on some other teams with not so great of a defense.

      • Andy Knaus

        Sure, Butler, Weddle, Reyes, Luiget, Thomas, Gilchrest, Wright are all solid pieces to build around. Gilchrest and Wright are learning and have good feet. What is never realized about defensive schemes is that the guy who got “burned” isn’t always the guy at fault. A Safety may have lapsed in getting over in 2 deep or a LB didnt take the correct angle. Defense is all about staying to your responsibility.

        • Stefanie Smith

          While they learn, they should have been able to stop the frigging Titans and Jake Locker. They only had to hang on for under 2 minutes.

          • Andy Knaus

            Yeah, I wish they would have too, but its not always that simple. Football isn’t one play. And as much as i want to say Hunter pushed off or our DB didn’t get his head turned to face the ball quicker, They didn’t put them away when they had the chance on offense.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          Gilchrist wasn’t that good at Nickel CB, and certainly isn’t good at safety. So, why is he on the team again? Only because we are THAT thin at CB & SS. Not sure if he would make any good team’s roster, honestly… not even as a back up.

          • Andy Knaus

            Debatable on Gilchrest, but correct, VERY THIN indeed…so fire EVERYBODY….the sky is falling

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Hahahaha… I am not that guy, at all. Quite the opposite, actually. I just think not getting a strong safety, and relying on Gilchrist was a horrible move that could have been easily avoided. Even Bigby would be better, and I knew it the minute they made the move. With Pagano…. as long as he learns how to get the most production out of the players we have, he most certainly can retain his job. So far, it is “debatable” if he has done that this season.

        • Trey P

          Bro i know you didnt just say gilchrest lol

      • joerockt

        You wanna talk defensive baffoonery, did you happen to catch the Raiders-Broncos last night? How about 49ers-Seattle?

        • Stefanie Smith

          Yep, it was bad. Raider D was not at all prepared.

  • Alter Ego

    Egad…I’m not ready to throw in the towel on him yet. A win would make everything look differently, The Texans and the Eagles are no slouches on offense…the Titans got us …Dallas is a must win…lets see how that pans out.

    • http://www.signonsandiego.com/ Ambitoos

      Everybody acts like they won’t hit somebody because they don’t want to be fined. Therefore they are just arm tackling. I agree, he was a leftover that Telesco was stuck with. Dump him. We might as well start with a new Defensive Coordinator now and get it over with because it’s not going to get better under Pagano. He’s in over his head.

      • Stefanie Smith

        TT wasn’t stuck with him. He could have gotten someone else.

    • arnie

      Agreed three games have been played. However the Chargers have lost 5 games last year by “3″ points or less. By not getting a pass rush, missed tackles, and in ability to stop anyone when they need to. how many points did the Charger lose against the Texans? 3. How many against the Titans? 3. How much did he win against Philly? 3.
      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. fool me a third time? it’s a pattern. Pagano is on watch.

      • Alter Ego

        Three starters out…thus the running up the middle…the TD pass to win it…it sucks – but with our starters playing we win.

        • arnie

          Excuses. Mike harris went into this game and did his job. So sacks from his side. I’ve been on this before, this team has played well enough without starters so far. It was mistakes and some questionable play calling that cost them the game.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      but we didn’t win… he had 2 minutes that he had to hold a team for 90+ yards with no timeouts and his squad failed.

  • RussinSactown

    I can’t join in the call for his head yet. Yeah there are problems. Yeah there are breakdowns. But short of finding he has been betting against the team we have to see him run his course through the season. There was something we all saw in him last year that made him the lone survivor of the Norv/AJ house cleaning. It’s not like he suddenly can’t coach his way out of a paper bag.

    • Stefanie Smith

      Yes, we saw something in him, but there were different players he was managing. They are gone now. And no, the D is not better without the players we let go.

      One thing he can do, is make these guys tougher. They don’t have it.

      • Andy Knaus

        How does a coach make a player tougher?

        • Stefanie Smith

          Training and conditioning. The coach is supposed to lead these guys.

          • Andy Knaus

            Hahahaha, well these are professional athletes doing this for money. If they aren’t in shape, that’s on them. I coached a few years and its very complicated. I will have to trust that the coaches are doing the best with the cards they are dealt.

          • Stefanie Smith

            That’s why they have an entire strength and conditioning program for each NFL team.

          • Andy Knaus

            Again, its just not that simple

          • Stefanie Smith

            We are getting the reputation that our defense is soft. And as to trust, we said to do the same thing with AJ and Norv–trust them. Coaches can screw up and not be good coaches or managers… That is on them. Example: Rivera and the Panthers-does not matter how complicated his job is.

          • Andy Knaus

            Its been soft

          • Stefanie Smith

            Yes, under Coach Pagano’s leadership. So, if he is running the D over there, should he not be held accountable?

          • Andy Knaus

            Bringing in a new coach doesn’t change things overnight. They have a ton of new players who are trying to get reps, adjust to the speed etc. Guys have to get used to playing with teammates. They great defenses out there now and in the past have had great chemistry, talent and depth

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        In Pagano’s defense (meaning I’m standing up for him a little.. not the Chargers actual defense.. lol) these guys have had all of three games playing as a unit. I don’t like the soft coverage, but they are also missing key players at multiple positions. They also have some new starters, like Thomas, and even Reyes to a degree. Not only do these guys need time to gel, but they need to gel “together” as starters. We started the season healthy, aside from Te’O. But, look at where we are at now. Neither starting MLB was playing, and Taylor hasn’t even stepped on the field during regular season at SS… also Ingram is out, and both CB’s are brand new. A lot of the time it just looks like they are still figuring out where they should be. It doesn’t help when you have a 2nd / 3rd string MLB core, and a quick fix SS in Gilchrist. I have a feeling we will see some improvement by the end of the season. It won’t be HUGE improvement, but enough to take us out of the basement. I bet you some of our better players will start to get on hot streaks, and things will look promising again. Our secondary will also start clicking. Remember, we had a lot of change, and personally… this is exactly what I expected. If it happens all season long.. then we can think about wholesale coaching changes.
        I always look at it this way.. if a racecar has a bad motor, it’s not the driver’s fault for not winning. And, even if the driver has a brand new top of the line car he has never driven before, he will likely get last place until he learns how to drive it the way it should be driven.

        • arnie

          There is truth in what you say. However the motor we have i don’t think is garbage, just not a championship motor yet. it can get this team around the track, i just need the driver to stop stalling out in the pits.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Agreed…. We need Ricky Bobby to Shake & Bake!!!!!!

          • arnie

            LOL

          • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

            I just don’t want these guys to win the Toilet Bowl…..that is
            4 the Traitors

  • blu3ny3llow

    SMmf’nH!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael Popowich

    I’m not so sure it’s his problem yet, thinking about it, we lost a lot of guys on D. 3 games is too soon to fire someone, and we do know that this is part of a two year plan, at the least.

    • Trey P

      we lost a bunch of nobodys

  • Stefanie Smith

    Tired of the excuses and wait until next year.

  • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

    how patient do we need to be… we watched him do the same things last season. Did he not have a soft zone and no pressure last year? He has another year with Liuget and he has regressed so far. Donald Butler… Eric Weddle.. Dwight Freeney… Kendall Reyes… Jarrett Johnson..

    We blew these same type of games last year on defense.

    • tubbs45

      My opinion is that our Nose Tackle is our weakness. Cam is getting the snot kicked out of him and the middle seems to be totally contained and driven where the OL wants them. Franklin was a beast in there last year. Geathers has been a little better, but why the hell is he coming in on passing downs only (maybe because he 6’9).
      Liuget is playing hurt, his right arm is constantly wrapped during the game…

      I feel your frustration brotha, but I dont see a simple coaching switch being a fix at this point… Cause who would you bring in?

      • arnie

        Rex.
        You are right it isn’t that simple. He did coach his D to 8th best in the league, however that is on paper. This is the same D that has gotten sacks, to force a 3rd an longs. Yet this is the same D that gave up that 3rd and long on the next play.

  • Rob Base

    It’s not his fault the CB’s, SS and back up LB’s suck. I say fire his ass though this soft zone wack crap sucks! Besides if Bolts sucks this year then maybe they get a top 10 draft pick for 2014.

    • Andy Knaus

      And if they switch to a man to man or bump n run and get burned even worse, then what?

  • http://www.signonsandiego.com/ Ambitoos

    Oh crap, that dreaded Dallas is coming to town. Can’t stand Jerry Jones.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    I find it curious that Milus’ name doesn’t come up more… just Pags … ????

  • Andy Knaus

    If you expect a DC to turn around a DEF with a ton of youth and little chemistry this quick you are being delusional. But by all means call TT, call Spanos, submit a resume….call Lovie Smith. Look there are few elite defenses out there. Pittburgh has a HOF DC and see where they are. The NFL is a passing league where the offense has every advantage and the Chargers are slowly adapting.

  • phobos57

    I’ve been critical of the guy and I’m still not sold on him, but he’s got very little to work with over there. The secondary is full of clowns (minus Weddle) and the line has done nothing. Telesco’s got a lot of work to do.

  • arnie

    You have a point, the Chargers are second in the league in Yards Per Game allowed, at 470. the Skins are first with 488, Philly is third with 438. Something needs to change.

  • Mz. Sarah

    Not yet I mean good god look what we’re working with. The coach can only do so much, it’s the players that need to produce!

    • arnie

      Agreed. but the players can only produce in the scheme the “Coach” gives them.

  • Jordan

    We need a corner bottom line. A shut down corner

    • arnie

      Not that simple. What good is a shut down corner, if he plays 10 yards off the WR, and is 5 yards away when they make the catch?

      • Jordan

        If we had a shut down corner we would play more man, than zone coverage. Our little corners just keep getting beat so we’re forced to play zone. And we’re not getting any pressure on the qb so the zone just getting picked apart

        • arnie

          A lack of a shut down corner isn’t the reason the Chargers are playing zone. A short zone is the base defense in a 3-4. The Chargers Defensive scheme is just ineffective, and the DC stubbornly refuses to adjust to more bump-an-run, to disrupt the timing. the corners we have are better at man, yet they still are giving free releases off the line and that is a DC’s scheme. The Chargers have had more success in man, the problem isn’t over the top, it’s giving up catches to the tune of 5-8 yards at a time, underneath.
          Again shut down corner will not help, because the DC won’t change his scheme.

  • Sergio Quintero

    First off, the Cam Thomas experiment has failed, the guy doesn’t force double teams, so that means no single team blocks for Liuget & Reyes. Major fail on not re-signing Aubreyo Franklin.

    Second while Cox has been okay mostly, would have preferred Grimes, Shaun Smith, Rodgers-Cromartie over him easily.

    I have already commented I’m not impressed with the creativity in playcalling in particular on 3rd downs, much too passive, in particular there is very little deception.

  • Stan Zab

    Yes, fire Pagano because clearly this defensive unit is packed full of talent and is underachieving. LOL. My goodness. Go look at the depth chart again and rethink what the problem might be. This cluelessness kills me.

  • Bill Nichols

    The damn Ravens fired the offensive coordinator deep into the season last year. Why the hell not fire Pags now?? He lost the game Sunday, single man to man coverage bullshit when they just needed a desperation TD. I say start interviewing now. Even if we don’t find someone worth a shit, maybe it will spur Pagano into playing some solid D. We have the personnel (almost), they just need to start playing up their abilities. Bolt Up!!

  • Guest

    the guys on offense have been preaching that they would adapt to their roster… If Cam has not been doing his job, then maybe we should be running something different. Against the Eagles we ran 4 down most of that game. We have Freeney and Johnson that can play end and we have Liuget and Reyes to play at tackle if we need.

    It would make even more sense to do so with the lack of linebackers on the roster. Why would we want to put more of those guys on the field. We barely have 4 good ones for the 3-4 base.

    Why is Weddle playing in the box most of the game when he is one of our best players at reading the play and sniffing out the football? I just don’t understand the use of his guys and don’t understand how he expects to put pressure on the quarterback.

    What can coaching do??? Just look at the offense!! They flipped the offensive scheme and we are at the top of the league. Our offense can move the ball even without a running game.

    There is talent on this defense… It is not getting used correctly.

  • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

    the guys on offense have been preaching that they would adapt to their roster… If Cam has not been doing his job, then maybe we should be running something different. Against the Eagles we ran 4 down most of that game. We have Freeney and Johnson that can play end and we have Liuget and Reyes to play at tackle if we need.

    It would make even more sense to do so with the lack of linebackers on the roster. Why would we want to put more of those guys on the field. We barely have 4 good ones for the 3-4 base.

    Why is Weddle playing in the box most of the game when he is one of our best players at reading the play and sniffing out the football? I just don’t understand the use of his guys and don’t understand how he expects to put pressure on the quarterback.

    What can coaching do??? Just look at the offense!! They flipped the offensive scheme and we are at the top of the league. Our offense can move the ball even without a running game.

    There is talent on this defense… It is not getting used correctly.

  • Will

    Another joke of an article. Do you think it was just a coincidence that when the chargers “cleaned house” pagano was the only one who stayed? Look at the roster bud. That should explain it. Liuget, butler, weddle, and freeney are the only players who know how to play defense right now. You guys are all the same. You guys think that all these players the chargers lost doesn’t mean anything. You think the chargers should be as great as they once were, instead of being realistic as to what they really are. You all just point the finger at any coach you can to justify why the chargers don’t live up to your expectations and live in denial instead of facing reality.

  • Tom Spalsbury

    Yea. Moe,Larry and Curly. Anything’s better then Shimp. Lol

  • 1961 Fan

    Pagano does NOT have the players and the ones he does have are not very good. The Chargers are in a rebuilding phase, as soon as the fans realize that, they may GET THE PICTURE!

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