The San Diego Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, and linebackers coach John Pagano will take over the job. San Diego had the NFL’s number one ranked defense during the 2010 season while allowing 20 points per game under defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, who left the team following that season to be the Carolina Panthers head coach. Manusky was hired after being the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator from 2007-2010. San Francisco had the NFL’s 25th ranked defense in 2007, the 13th ranked defense in 2008, the 15th ranked defense in 2009 and the 13th ranked defense in 2010.
San Diego went from having the NFL’s number one ranked defense in 2010 to having the NFL’s 16th ranked defense while giving up almost 24 points per game in 2011. San Francisco’s average defensive ranking under Manusky was 17th with a takeaway differential of -21 in four seasons, so I am not sure what the Chargers were expecting when they brought him in. The Chargers had more to work with as an overall team on defense because they were ranked higher and had less Pro Bowlers on defense than San Francisco in 2010, but this did not seem to be a good hire for San Diego.
The Chargers organization was quick to fire Manusky after his first season. One has to wonder why Norv Turner and A.J. Smith were brought back after years of failure while having the abilities to make more of a major impact than Manusky. The Chargers are notorious for lacking motivation. They have not won a playoff game under Turner since the 2008 season, and have failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons. Smith has been the general manager since 2003, so he drafts and signs the players who have failed to live up to their potential, yet Smith and Turner are returning for another season.