In a move that Oakland Raiders fans have been calling for, the team announced that they have fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. The writing was on the wall for the coach. Many already felt was on thin ice for being at the helm of an under-performing defense the past couple years.
The NFL network’s Ian Rapoport broke the news earlier today:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 21, 2017
Norton had been with the Raiders since Jack Del Rio and his new regime took over in 2015. He started his career at USC as the linebackers coach from 2004-2009. Then he followed Pete Carroll over to the NFL serving as the Seattle Seahawks linebackers coach from 2010-2014.
His undoing was his inability to create a respectable pass defense. Each of his years as defensive coordinator, the Raiders ranked in the bottom quarter of the league. Oakland’s defense ranked 21st in total defense on the season. Last year they were ranked 20th. The Raiders are also the only team in NFL history ever to not record an interception after 10 games of a season.
Michael Silver reports that John Pagano will take over as defensive coordinator:
John Pagano will take over as Raiders DC
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) November 21, 2017
Pagano was hired as the assistant head coach earlier in the offseason. He takes over a reeling Raiders defense that looks to put their embarrassing loss to the New England Patriots behind them. This weekend, Oakland goes up against division rivals Denver Broncos. Second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch will get his first start of the season.
Now, Pagano will get his chance to turn the Raiders defense around in what looks like a lost season for the silver and black.
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