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Rivera joins the Chargers as linebackers coach

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2771716" target="_blank">ESPN</a>

    By John Clayton

    <img src="http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2007/writers/jeffri_chadiha/02/01/rivera/t1_rivera.jpg" title="Ron Rivera joins the Chargers as their LB coach" alt="Ron Rivera joins the Chargers as their LB coach" align="right" height="240" width="177" />Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera may have lost out to Norv Turner for the chance to be San Diego's head coach, but the Chargers got the best of all worlds.

    Rivera accepted a job to be a linebackers coach hours after learning his contract would not be extended by the Bears. For the Chargers, general manager A.J. Smith and Turner, it was a major coup in trying to move closer to a championship run.

    After what was considered an excellent interview for the head coaching job, Rivera told the Chargers and Turner he was willing to discuss a position on the staff. Turner hired Ted Cottrell as the defensive coordinator, but Rivera was an object of private discussions all day.

    For Rivera, the idea of joining the Chargers was another way to improve his stock for a future head coaching job. Rivera was defensive coordinator of a Super Bowl team, but he was pigeonholed in some ways. He was considered a 4-3 defensive specialist and so many of the opening this year wanted coaches with 3-4 experience.

    The Chargers liked the idea of bringing in Rivera to help improve their third-and-long package along with coaching the linebackers. Coming from a 4-3 scheme, Rivera can offer suggestions to improve the third-down pass rush. Most 3-4 teams go to a four-man line in third-and-long situations.

    Plus, Rivera could enhance his resume this season by learning the 3-4. He's had eight interviews for head coaching jobs but has not been able to secure one. Getting the 3-4 experience might be the edge he needs to get a 2008 head coaching job in what is expected to be a wide-open market.

    Rivera will work with John Pagano, a linebacker coach who is currently under contract and expected to stay. The Chargers like having two linebacker coaches. Earliers this month they lost linebacker coach Greg Manusky, who joined the San Francisco 49ers as the defensive coordinator.

    In getting Rivera, the Chargers believe they put a cap on what was an important day in getting ready for the 2007 season.

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