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NFL Arizona Cardinals

Have the San Diego Chargers found the right man to be their defensive coordinator?

The San Diego Chargers had the number one ranked defense during the 2010 NFL season in terms of yards per game allowed at about 272. San Diego allowed 4.6 yards per play which ranked second in the league behind the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ron Rivera was San Diego’s defensive coordinator from 2008-2010, but on January 11, 2011, he was named the head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

San Diego replaced Rivera with Greg Manusky who was San Diego’s linebackers coach from 2002-2006 and the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers from 2007-2010.

The Chargers were awful on defense with Manusky as their coordinator because only five teams allowed more yards per play and they were last in the NFL at stopping teams on third downs allowing them to convert 49 percent of the time.

John Pagano was named defensive coordinator on January 5, 2012 and will be the team’s third defensive coordinator in the last three seasons.  Pagano coached San Diego’s linebackers from 2005-2011.  During this time, Pagano helped fourth round picks like Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes make impacts with the team.

Phillips ranked ninth in the NFL with 11.5 sacks in 2006 and 10th in the league with 11 in 2010.  San Diego was Barnes’ third team in four seasons when he signed a deal on October 12, 2010.  Barnes appeared in 15 games last season and his 11 sacks were tied for 11th among all players.

San Diego has to play better on defense if they are going to have a successful 2012 NFL season.  Hopefully Pagano will be the right man for the job and will help San Diego make it back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009 NFL season.