Aug 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano (right) pats linebacker Antwan Barnes (98) on the back during training camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
There have been a lot of arrows pointing toward defensive coordinator John Pagano for his struggles during the season, but he deserves some praise for what he has done of late. Has he done enough to stay on as the defensive coordinator for the Chargers next season? It sounds like the general manager Tom Telesco is confident that he will be back for another year based off of his interview with Darren Smith today.
I will give Pagano some praise with what he has done. There still are question marks on some of his decisions, but it has been nice to see the team make some stops of late. Making the switch at nose tackle and corner took some time, but those moves have paid off. I hated his use of Eric Weddle early in the year also, but it looks like Eric is getting settled back into a better role also.
Pagano has been able to find some players that will be useful next season though. Sean Lissemore will be a nice player to use on defense next year. Reggie Walker has been used at every linebacker spot. Thomas Keiser can be a situational pass rusher. Shareece Wright is developing. There are some pieces for us next season.
Once we add a few more pieces onto this defense, we could be sitting pretty on that side of the football again. Would I still want Rex Ryan to coach the defense? Of course, but my hatred for Pagano has dropped a bit.