Raiders Already Expanding John Pagano’s Role With The Defense?

In Jack Del Rio, Ken Norton Jr., and John Pagano, the Raiders have enough defensive coaches to run three teams.

Their joint task in Oakland? Find a way to make one defense work.

Among the challenges of having three cooks in the kitchen, where do the coaching responsibilities begin and end for each? More specifically, what is the working relationship between Pagano (the Assistant Head Coach – Defense) and Norton Jr. (the defensive coordinator) and can they co-exist?

Already, some have noticed (or at least speculated) that Pagano and Norton Jr. are sharing play-calling duties.

Speaking with Greg Papa on his 95.7 The Game program, former Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski said he believes Pagano is “going to have more influence if they don’t start getting off the field on third down.”

Papa believes they’re already past that point.

“I think he may have already started. You see [Pagano] during the game broadcast. He’s doing all the talking and Kenny’s not. I would not be surprised if they’ve already made the call on certain down and distance who is actually calling into the green dot speaker in to the field. I think it may be Pagano a lot.”

Last year, it was Del Rio who took over defensive play-calling duties in some situations and it’s possible Norton Jr. will be limited in that role again this year.

To the credit of everyone involved, the Raiders defense showed signs of improvement last week in Dallas – which brings up another problem. If the defense finally turns the corner, who are we supposed to congratulate first?

twitter: @raidersbeat


15 thoughts on “Raiders Already Expanding John Pagano’s Role With The Defense?

  1. Pagano should take over completely. He wasn’t kept in San Diego all those years for nothing. In this league, it’s prove it or lose it! Norton Jr. has not proved it.

  2. There has been little improvement from the defense under Norton . It isn’t that he’s a bad defensive coordinator , it’s that he’s inexperienced . The Raiders have a team that can win now and there is talent on the defensive side of the ball . The Raiders don’t have the luxury of letting Norton grow into his role . Pagano should run the defense .

  3. Tbh, I thought JDR lured KNJ over from Seattle to be more of a coach to the defense, since he is known to be an excellent coach, while just holding the title of DC while JDR actually coordinated the defense.

    Jack wanted KNJ, but the only way you can hire someone away from a different team is with a promotion, and for KNJ that was to become a DC. It’s still possible that this is the case, especially if KNJ gets demoted to LB coach or some other defensive position.

    His biggest mistake was trying to emulate the LOB. Raiders don’t have the safeties, linebackers, or DL required to run that scheme successfully, and that was obvious day 1 when they couldn’t cover a TE, and why they are still struggling w/it.

    Good DC’s evaluate the talent on hand and create a scheme that best fits the players, which then usually takes the shape of a type of scheme, whether it’s 3-4, 4-3, Tampa 2, or variances of man and zone. Pagano knows this, and is the reason SD always, ALWAYS, played us tough, even when half their friggin defense was injured including their top 2 corners. If Raiders lost their top 2 corners every game would be a clinic, 300+ passing yards against every game, even if it was Trevor Semen throwing the rock.

    Pagano needs to take over asap, KNJ has proven he can’t adapt to personnel, and that’s the biggest red flag a coordinator can have (outside of lining one DB up against 3 WR’s…. you know, the quintessential Tarver defense).

    Hopefully KNJ just gets demoted and not fired, bc he is one Hell of a coach and the players have a lot of respect for him, but I doubt it happens. Can’t have malice amongst coaches and coordinators, that breeds contempt in the locker room….or something.

  4. Not encouraged by either Norton or Pagano. I think it comes down to talent on the field just as much as coaching Mackenzie has neglected high draft picks and impactful FA signings in historically bad or worn out talent at key positions. We shall see I’m hoping for the best I expect Hester and Luani to see a lot of time this year and depending how this 4th preseason game goes I think Borders #31 and Marrow #35 make the team also see us pickup someone off of waivers.

  5. I mean. Is it really KN to take blame. I certainly think RM has to take more of the heat. His misses in the draft for the exception of Mack have hurt the Defense. Amerson had 1 ok year and did not play to his contract. Sean smitj has been mediocre. I can go on, but you see where im aiming. He has depth with that o line. He went and signed KO to a big deal .. gave up on Walford spent on cook. Where is the effort for Defense.

  6. What kills me about Ken Norton Jr is that he can’t make any mid-game adjustments. It’s almost as if Al Davis has taken over the defensive play calling. If your DBs are getting burned when playing man, why not blitz? They’re getting torched anyway. May as well try to get to the QB. Norton is trying to call a defense like he has lock down corners. Sean Smith is about the same size as Richard Sherman but that’s about all they have in common.

    Pagano led the Chargers to 28 turnovers last season and helped Jooey Bosa have a tremendous rookie season. Just imagine how he’s going to unleash Mack and Irvin.

  7. Blitzing is not always the answer what Norton fails to do is change that 43 defense and run A 34 defense By changing the scheme you also helping out your corners .Now blitzing will work But by changing your Scheme from 43 to a 34 Also puts pressure on the Oftensive line, thats gonna change their blocking Assignment And free up linebackers to either blitz pick up Tight ends or assist the corners The 34 is a run defense but can also be used as a pass defense .What Norton also fails to do in long yardage situations use your nickel more or his dime defense. He just seems to fail in making adjustments on the fly Or after the 1st half, Keep as a linebacker coach until he learns how to be a real DC.

  8. Norton is trying to push a square peg into a triangle. Good defensive coordinators puts their players in position to succeed. Norton wants to call plays like he’s in Seattle. Wake up. I saw more corner blitzes in this past Dallas game then I had seen in the last couple seasons combined. I’m with that. Make the QB throw when you want him to throw. That’s Pagano’s emo. Speed the offense up. This sitting back and reacting is for the birds. We have attackers on defense. Cut them loose!

  9. it seems the main issue is that our defensive line can’t get a pass rush going, if the pass rush gets going and we get a push up front then the rest of the defense will fall in line and will be able to come out with bigger plays and better plays. I don’t think that is on the coaches in my own opinion

  10. What is best for the team it is foreseen in the dream great minded coaches never rest always creating a better circumstances in the worst conditions let’s get back into the winning condition the coach with the best vision and foresight my motto would simply be one Accord One Vision everyone’s victory.

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