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Chargers trusting Pagano to improve defense

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Buck Melanoma, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Trust your coach. Know your assignments.

    Play your *** off.



    Most of you listeners probably have heard A.J. Smith’s classic recording, “Defense Wins Championships.” All of our DJ’s have been spinning his record for years, to no avail. It never went gold.
    The needle on the Chargers’ general manager’s phonograph has worn through the vinyl down to the turntable. Smith seems to have grown tired of lip-syncing it, though, and for sure I’m weary of hearing it.
    All he says now is: “You know my philosophy.”
    I do. And it’s true, at least in part, because the game has changed, so it’s foolish to expect the ’75 Steelers or ’85 Bears. In the new NFL, offense owns the dashboard, and defenses have too many new parts to mesh into legend.
    I don’t believe it’s possible to have a truly great defense anymore. The Ravens were supposed to have this terrific, suffocating defense last year. The 8-8 Chargers ran up 34 on them.
    But if defense wins championships, A.J., get one that can. One at least good enough to hold its own.
    Does he have one now? Minicamp’s going on as we speak. Players in shorts. No helmets. No contact. How the hell are we supposed to make anything out of a bunch of guys who appear ready to play beach volleyball?
    Former linebackers coach John Pagano, an interesting man, has taken over for Greg Manusky as defensive coordinator, and John will need limpet mines to sink this defense to depths it reached in 2011.
    Pagano will be the sixth defensive coordinator — Dale Lindsey, Wade Phillips, Ted Cottrell, Ron Rivera and Manusky being the others — in Smith’s 10-year tour as GM. It’s no secret A.J. wasn’t pleased with Manusky, whose 2011 defense ranked last in The League getting off the field on third down. He believes he has the right man in Pagano.
    “I’m excited for John,” Smith has. “He’s been with me here every step of the way and he’s waited a long time for this opportunity. He’s been through the highs and lows. He’s hit the ground running; he’s a bright guy.
    “I told him: ‘Last in the NFL. And if you can change that one statistic in any way, shape or form and just rise — we don’t have to be No. 1 — we’ll be OK. Get off the field and get the ball to Philip Rivers.’ ”
    Pagano will have more with which to work — more speed for sure — than Manusky. But the problem with last year’s defense, besides so many of its reserves (A.J.’s players) not stepping up, was the inability to adjust on the fly, even at halftime. Far too much same ol’, same ol’. If you’re going down, try something different.
    Every year we hear: “We’ve got to be more aggressive.” Really? Is that it?
    “Is there anybody in the NFL who doesn’t want to be aggressive?” Pagano says.
    It’s controlled aggression, really. But what Pagano has in front of him now is more working model than anything else. There are many new free agents and draftees on this defense and he has to get them to fit, to communicate, to do their jobs and not be concerned with somebody else’s responsibility.

    Good defenses are built on trust. No trust, no chance.
    “We’re working on our identity now; it’s all about identity,” Pagano says. “Our identity will be to play with technique, fundamentals and effort; those three things. Do I feel we’re going to play better? Yes, I believe we will.”
    Pagano is entering his 17th season as an NFL coach, 11th with San Diego. He’s pure coach. His father, Sam, coached football at Fairview High in Boulder, Colo., for 25 years. His brother, Chuck, is the new head coach of the Colts. If there’s a coaching block, John’s been around it. So he knows what went wrong last season.
    “I truly believe guys just weren’t playing on the same page,” he says. “Injuries played a key factor, but guys in certain positions had to go out and play better than they did.
    “Look how good we were on third down two years ago and where we were last year. We called the same plays last year. No execution. We’ve added some speed and athleticism through the draft and free agency. There’s a great mix of youth and veterans.
    “I’m not a wild man. I get a little crazy on game days and a player might have to fog me out a little bit. But I love this game. I love coaching. I grew up a coach’s kid. You need good players to make good plays. Our job is to get them in the right position to make good plays. Don’t think so much. Play fast, think slow.”
    Perfect. Now to get it to work.
    “It will be John’s identity,” Smith says. “His name will be all over it. This is his opportunity. Football is in his blood. He was born and raised in this stuff. It’s his turn now.”
    Pagano has a great defensive philosophy.
    “I tell the players: ‘See ball … go get ball.””
    There are times football is so simple it reads like a first-grade primer.
     
  2. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    See ball... go get ball... screen pass for 25 yds.

    Seriously though, I like that he's working on getting our defense to not do stupid things and just make plays.
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    A fundamentally strong defense that wishes to tear your head off is all that's necessary. Save the glitz for the offense and just let the defense run wild.
     
  4. Joy Division

    Joy Division Slightly-known Member

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    Trusting coaches? WTF? Cutting-Edge!
     
  5. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Simple but effective, knock the sh1t out of, line up and do it again defense. How refreshing.
     
  6. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    It isn't quite that simple, as you well know.

    But I do hope that the slobber-knocking mentality is in full force. :tup:
     
  7. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It all depends on how deep Pag's decides to in terms of alignments. Calling blitz packages from anywhere is fun for the player's and relatively easy, unless you're the opposing QB.
     
  8. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Sure, it's easy to CALL. But you can live or die by the blitz.

    I want an aggressive D as much as the next guy. Even more importantly, I want a smothering D that can adjust & shut down the opposing offense. That takes a lot more than just pinning your ears back & going after the QB.

    We need balance on both sides of the ball.
     
  9. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Straight up defense, control the run play the pass. Basic, fundamentally sound aggressive with a mean streak.
     
  10. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I don't care what kind of defense we run, so long as they get off the damn field on 3rd downs this year.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Savage Lizard

    Savage Lizard Charger fan at 7000'

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    THIS!!!! I go freaking berserk watching us make plays on first and second down and then just giving it all away on 3rd and long. Our best defensive play on 3rd down is an incomplete pass.
     
  12. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I want players who are capable of creating pressure without having to call a blitz. Beat your own man once in a while...... is that too much to ask?
     
  13. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    In a 3-4 defense it's called a blitz, but is it really?
     
  14. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    If you rush more than 4, yes.
     
  15. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    No it isn't. Hexed mentioned blitz packages, I responded to that post.

    Don't worry - I'll give Camzilla his due when it's appropriate. :)
     
  16. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Just wait until you see Mothra. :D
     
  17. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Semantics Buck, what else would it be called in the 3-4?
     

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