Pagano says de­fense has to do a lot of things dif­fer­ently

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - By Matt Sch­nei­d­man mschnei­d­man@ba­yare­anews­

ALAMEDA won’t from John coach he from Ken­ers Pagano’s fired as­sumes Pagano a look - per­son­nel de­fense” as Nor­ton » much ti­tle de­fen­sive The at play- on spent sea­sons the of won’t dif­fer­ent, Jr., Raiders stand­point Tues­day. “as­sis­tant call­ing helm. who the co­or­di­na­tor change, as the last de­fense if Pagano de­fen- du­ties at Raid- head with five but all, worst dia role his Pagano de­fense for Thurs­day. in the the spoke first looks NFL. He sive the now res­cu­ing de­fense to time vastly cer­tainly Charg­ers. co­or­di­na­tor Bay tasked in among a Area dif­fer­ent his Raiders hopes with He’s new me- the for

in the (3-7) fer­ent,” cre­ate big­gest fense. on “other third We Raiders at You turnovers. have 1:25 thing Pagano ways down. have to p.m. (4- miss­ing do come 6) We to said. PST. a host I lot get think have Sun­day, fro­many of “the off We things that’s to the Bron­cos have go when field dif- out the de- to there, ter­back able. hap­pen, dence you want I to we think and keep that to have make do gives do­ing when dif­fer­ently.” to af­fect him you the those un­com­fort- things that the things confi- quar- that

NFL ing to tied The grab on for with Raiders fum­bles. last an six in­ter­cep­tion in take­aways, the rank Oak­land league last and all with has in com- sits the yet 14 sacks. the overs. son, Raiders they’re Through In the mi­nus-nine. were same 10 plus-10 games time last this in turn- year, sea

cus sec­ondary, Pagano, be­fore whose his wasn’t pro­mo­tion main handed area was any of the fo- fa­vors sive Gareon backs with Con­ley unit. a banged- played First-round up only de­fen- pick two games Sec­ond-round be­fore pick his Obi Meli­fon­wuse­a­son ended. missed er­son looks the first like he’s eight. go­ing David to miss Am-his fifth game of the year on Sun

de­fen­sive As a re­sult, backs a ro­tat­ing have pieced wheel to- of day. 10 gether gled games. more a sec­ondary of­ten than that not has through strug

“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.”

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