What on Eeath is John Pagano doing with the Oakland Raiders?

Yesterday, we got to hear from the newest member of the Oakland Raiders, assistant head coach for defense, John Pagano. The former San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator was brought in after the Raiders defense struggled throughout the 2016 season. Though many called for the head of Raiders DC Ken Norton, Jr., he remains with the team as the DC while the role of Pagano remains rather unclear despite Pagano’s attempts to clarify yesterday.

Well, at least one thing is clear, Pagano is going to be working on defensive communication. In fact, I don’t think he used any word more than “communication” during his press conference:

You know, the big thing is, communication is the key to all success….For us to be able to communicate. Our communication starts as coaches to coaches then works from player to coach and they take that out on the field from player to player. The big thing is what we’re saying out there on the field in a game day situation…. the biggest thing is making sure everyone is saying the same thing.

Every day we strive for two goals: Let’s have great communication… and two let’s not let the ball go over our heads.

I would say I’m more in the back end right now and really trying to, with coach [Rod] Woodson and coach ‘Vies’ [Brent Vieselmeyer] to be able to make sure our communication is at a high level.

Just keep listening, keep hearing what we’re saying and make sure we’re communicating at a high level.

The opportunity that Coach Del Rio gave me to join this staff and be able to help in all facets, from the back end to being able to help the linebackers communication between the secondary.

Even Ken Norton, Jr. jumped on the communication train:

Right now his role is to help us on the back end with our communication and [shore] up what’s going on to make sure we stay on top.

SO… the Oakland Raiders hired a former defensive coordinator and created an entirely new position so that he would be willing to join the team without being the defensive coordinator. They presumably pay him better than any defensive coach not named Ken Norton, Jr. but despite all that Jack Del Rio and company did in order to get Pagano in the door, all they want him to do is make sure guys are talking to each other?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to diminish the importance of communicating on the filed, but is it really such a difficult concept to teach that you need to create an entirely new and high ranking position on your coaching staff and hire a former defensive coordinator in order to teach?

We aren’t talking about technique, something that requires a special skill set and knowledge. We aren’t talking scheme or responsibilities within a scheme, something that requires a special skill set and knowledge.

Were talking about talking.

I find it very hard to believe that Pagano’s only or even primary role is JUST facilitating communication. Seems like a bit of overkill if you ask me. And if that really is the primary reason the Raiders brought Pagano in, it makes you wonder… why wasn’t Ken Norton, Jr. and his staff able to do something as simple as getting guys to communicate on the field.

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