The beginning of Anthony Lynn‘s tenure as the Chargers’ head coach will likely bring about the end of defensive coordinator John Pagano‘s long run with the organization. The club isn’t expected to retain Pagano, reports Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
With high-profile defensive coordinator candidate Gus Bradley set to interview for that role with the Chargers, the news of Pagano’s forthcoming exit comes as no surprise. Bradley is reportedly the front-runner to land the job with the newly minted Los Angeles franchise. Further, the idea of Bradley joining a Lynn-fronted staff has come up as a possibility since the latter was the Bills’ interim head coach at the end of the regular season.
To this point, Pagano has spent his entire coaching career with the Chargers, who hired him as a defensive quality control coach in 2002. He eventually climbed to the defensive coordinator position in 2012, though the unit mostly struggled under Pagano. In his first four years on the job, the Chargers didn’t post a better defensive DVOA ranking than 18th, and they finished last in the NFL in 2013. The defense turned in its best Pagano-led showing in 2016 (eighth), but it doesn’t appear that will be enough to save the 49-year-old.
While Pagano is on his way out, some of his assistants will remain in place. Earlier Friday, Sporting News’ Alex Marvez reported that defensive line coach Giff Smith, defensive backs coach Ron Milus and assistant DBs coach Chris Harris will return in 2017. Linebackers coach Bob Babich is gone, though, having taken a job with Lynn’s previous employer – Buffalo.
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