Dictator: Potato with a Funny Shape


Jul 31, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebackers coach John Pagano at training camp at Chargers Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Now that I have everyone’s attention.  Sorry, remember that I think I’m funny and that is enough for me.  My guess is that he is laughing in the picture because also finds the title funny.

The Chargers defense has not been the same since Wade Phillips left to take the head coaching gig with the Cowboys.  It has been since then that we have had even a trace of dominance.  Our lack of forcing turnovers and an inability to dictate the pace of the game has been borderline pathetic at times.  Ok, you’re right.  It has been truly pathetic.  I liked Ron Rivera as a coordinator and, obviously, the Panthers liked him as a Head Coach.  But it is my belief that even with Rivera that the Chargers defense was far too passive.

For those of you that would like to try and remind me that not long ago we had the #1 ranked defense in the league, I’ll kindly show you to the door of YouHaveNoKnowledgeOfFootballVille.  It’s a small town somewhere between Dreamland and Moron City.  All three are highly over-populated and it is very possible that they could form together and take over the world….. One delusional idiot at a time.

There were many reasons that we allowed the fewest number of yards in 2010.  Our special teams was arguably the worst in the history of the NFL.  When opposing offenses are constantly playing on a short field, it is easy to out gain the other team offensively and still be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game.  This was the case for our Chargers.

And then there was the debacle of a hiring in Greg Manusky.  We were all led to believe that Manusky was going to unleash the hounds.  We were told that we would be a dominating, dictating defense that was constantly going to give opposing quarterbacks nightmares leading up to gameday.  Yeah, ummm, not so much.  My guess would be that the other team’s signal callers couldn’t wait to play against a Manusky led Chargers defense.

Soft zone after softzone and 2 or 3 man rushes forced even my wife to use words that made me blush.  If I ever see another Prevent defense at the beginning of a quarter I’m going to throw up.  All the Prevent defense does is prevent you from winning.  Of course, there is a time to use the prevent defense.  Greg Manusky just so happened to use it as often as he did the soft zone and man-(waaaay)off coverage.

I want a defense that gets after it and forces the quarterback to make quick decisions which can lead to turnovers.  I want to see these same quarterbacks be forced to throw off of their back foot which also will lead to poor throws and possibly interceptions.  I want the defense to have the opportunity to strip the ball because they are in position to do so and not playing off coverage or dropping 15 yards at the snap of the ball.

I don’t want our secondary having to cover for 6 to 8 seconds every single pass play.  As a coordinator, you are simply asking far too much of your defensive backs if you are not going to get after NFL quarterbacks and cause some havoc in the backfield.  In the past, we have made even the most pedestrian of quarterbacks look like pro-bowlers.

In comes newly appointed defensive coordinator John Pagano.

Pagano has been with the Chargers for 10 years and has been the team’s Linebacker coach since 2005.  He has helped shape the careers of players such as Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips.  It goes without saying, he had to have an impact on linebacker Donald Butler last year.  Not to mention he played a large part in the resurgence of Antwan Barnes.

Pagano has said in multiple interviews that he wants the Chargers to be a fundamentally sound defense that plays the game the way it is supposed to be played.  Good tackling, getting after the quarterback, and good play in the secondary.  Did I mention that he notes Manusky as one of his football mentors?

Although that has me a little bit worried, I find it hard to believe that either Norv or A.J., have not made it clear that playing on roller skates is completely prohibited.  Both are fighting for their respective jobs.

Free Agency coupled with the draft, proved that there was an obvious emphasis on solidifying the front seven.  I, for one, am ecstatic with this offseason up to this point.

There are some of us that would like to see another cornerback added to the team.  But I have a strong feeling that both Marcus Gilchrist and Shareece Wright will both contribute far more than expected by the majority of Bolts Fans.

My thoughts behind adding another corner are more slanted towards having injury issurance.

So, Mr. Pagano, what will it be? What should we expect from you as the playcaller of our defense?  Are you going to be the Dictator?  Or are you going to be “dictated” by the opposing team?

I vote for the former, personally.  The latter made me feel uncomfortable, to say the least, to even write.

Only time will tell.  Only time will tell. ( Yes, I put that twice for dramatic emphasis. )

Thanks a lot for reading.



P.S.  Only 90 days until the opening game of the season! But only 10 weeks until I fly out to San Diego to hang with the best fans in the NFL in the finest city of all of the U.S.!!! Super hyped and thanks again to all who participated in the “Want to go to a Chargers game contest?”  By the way, there is still one ticket left.  I’ll have an article soon on how to win the last ticket to join us at Jack Murphy/SnapDragon/Qualcomm stadium.