John Pagano reportedly has interviewed with the Washington Redskins for their defensive coordinator position. Is he a strong candidate to get the job?
The Washington Redskins search for a defensive coordinator continued with their pursuit of another candidate. The seventh interview they have held since firing Joe Barry went to former San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano. Pagano was let go by the team prior to their move to Los Angeles, as new head coach Anthony Lynn brought Gus Bradley on to work his defense.
Pagano has worked as a defensive coordinator for the past five years, all with the Chargers. In his first three years, he had two defenses that ranked in the top 10 in terms of limiting opponent’s yardage. In those three years, they always held an above average scoring unit, ranking at 16, 11, and 13 respectively. However, in the past couple of years things have not gone as smoothly.
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The Chargers’ scoring defense has declined in each of the past two seasons, and ranked 29th in the NFL last season. They simply never progressed to being a top defensive unit under Pagano’s watch. Though Pagano did a good job of developing some of the younger talent like Melvin Ingram and Jason Verrett, the team simply never progressed enough. Perhaps injuries can be blamed for some of the issues, but it became clear that Pagano was not the right many to bring the Chargers to the next level.
That said, things could change for Pagano with the Redskins. He already runs a 3-4 defense and if given a couple of years to develop personnel, he could fix the problems that he had with the Chargers. Granted, the Redskins have not been good in terms of yardage or scoring defense, but with some upgrades perhaps Pagano could get them to the playoffs. He seems to be a solid option, and the experience he had with the Chargers should help his cause.
Of all the candidate the Redskins have interviewed so far, Pagano is among the best. He has put together a couple of above average seasons as a coordinator and of the options on the board, he may only be second to Mike Pettine. It will be interesting to see if the Redskins try to bring Pagano on board in the coming days.