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Oakland Raiders

Five Things To Know About Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano

Five Things To Know About Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano
S/R Staff
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Assistant Head Coach – Defense John Pagano

The Oakland Raiders have hired John Pagano as the team’s Assistant Head Coach – Defense, adding the veteran coach to the Silver and Black’s staff, after serving as a member of the San Diego Chargers coaching ranks for 15 years. Over the course of his 22-year career, Pagano has been in a variety of coaching roles, but specializes on the defensive side of the ball.

Here’s five things you should know about the Silver and Black’s newest coaching addition.

Pagano’s first professional coaching job was with Del Rio.

1997 marked the first season Pagano began his coaching career in the NFL and joined forces with current Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio in New Orleans. With the Saints, Pagano and Del Rio were able to get acquainted with one another, while learning from one of the NFL’s best defensive minds in former Head Coach Mike Ditka. Following his time with the Saints, Pagano joined the Bolts coaching staff in 2002, as he worked his way up from quality control, to the team’s defensive coordinator, where he’s spent the past five seasons.

For the past five seasons, he’s found success as the Chargers defensive coordinator.

With Pagano at the helm, the Chargers ranked in the top half of the league in 2016 when it came to sacks (35). On top of that, the team was tied for first in the league with 18 interceptions, and featured a secondary that caused a lot of problems for opposing offenses. While the Raiders have many athletic playmakers, Pagano should bring a different perspective that can help in the development of the young group.

John’s older brother Chuck Pagano used to work for the Raiders.

This isn’t the first time a member of the Pagano family has worked for the Raiders. Back in 2005, Chuck Pagano was in charge of the team’s defensive backs unit, and did so for two seasons. Both of the brothers have spent time dealing with defensive secondaries and linebacking corps throughout their respective careers. While the duo might talk about football together on occasion, I’m sure John will bring his own style to the Silver and Black.

He’s attributed to the success of talented young players in the league.

One of the most promising young players in the league is Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, who finished his rookie season with 10.5 sacks after only playing 12 games. The progression of Bosa’s development under the leadership of Pagano was eye opening, and for a Raiders team with young pass rushers like Jihad Ward and Shilique Calhoun, Pagano’s presence might help them flourish.

Pagano originally played football growing up as a linebacker.

John Pagano was born and raised in Boulder, Colo. He attended Fairview High School where he went on to earn all-state linebacker honors. Pagano was a student-athlete at Mesa State in college, and ended up getting his first coaching gig at his alma mater as an assistant coach.

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