The Chargers wisely have chosen to retain defensive coordinator John Pagano -- but as I'll explain below, there's room for growth.
For new coach Mike McCoy, it must be comforting to know Pagano will run the defense. In reality, the Chargers are getting two Paganos for the price of one. John said he talks football every week with his brother Chuck, the head coach of the Colts.
Chuck's an expert at devising clever variations of the 3-4 defense. Last year, John's first as a coordinator, the Chargers, too, created myriad looks in their 3-4 scheme. More often than not, the Chargers' defense dictated to the opponent, most impressively in the upset victory at Pittsburgh.
Above all, Pagano's defense smashed the run. The Bolts allowed the fifth-lowest average of yards per rush (3.8).
Scoring points was another strength of the unit, which amassed seven touchdowns, five off interceptions.
Other than against the Panthers, whose offense broke tendency to a rare degree, Pagano held his own, and then some, I thought. The only other lopsided defeat, to the Falcons, reflected widespread mismatches in personnel.
John Pagano's return good, but growth needed
San Diego Union-Tribune | Jan 19