Pagano says defense has to do a lot of things differently
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“I think they all adjusted well,” Pagano said. “I think the thing that always happens, when your time comes, you have to go answer the bell. I think they’ve done a great job of being put into those positions. Guys are at times special teams core players and playing 6070 plays for you. And when your opportunity comes, you do it. So, you just adjust and you go with it.”
Norton was a popular figure in the locker room, and his departure irritated at least starting linebacker Bruce Irvin, who played under Norton with the Seahawks from 2012-14. Irvin tweeted, “BULL****” right after Norton’s firing announcement, and Jack Del Rio said Wednesday he respected Irvin’s feelings and would allow him space in the move’s aftermath.
Pagano was asked, since many players had close relationships with Norton, how he handles the personal side of the transition.
“It’s tough. It’s tough in this business,” he said. “I told the guys that the one thing about this business that I’ve always felt and some coaches a long time ago told me: We’re all on one-day contracts. You live every day and you coach every day and you play hard and certain things like that are tough. There is a human element to this. We are family. It’s sad any time a member of your family gets dismissed or something.”
The Raiders are forced to move forward, given their season could be squashed with a loss to Denver. Last time the two teams played, Oakland surrendered only 16 points, tied for the fewest it has allowed this season. Another stout defensive performance, if Derek Carr and Co. show up unlike in Week 4, the Raiders would grab a much-needed win instead of falling three games below .500.
Many eyes will be on Pagano on Sunday, and the Raiders can’t get much worse on the defensive side after last Sunday’s debacle south of the border. They’ll need something far better to realistically keep their season alive.
“We just have to go out and we have to play better. We have to coach better. We’re going to go out there, we’re going to play hard,” Pagano said. “The one thing I’ve always stressed and always been about is technique, fundamentals and unbelievable effort. I think those three things can get you home.”