New Browns coach Rob Chudzinksi is targeting John Pagano as his defensive coordinator, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported today.
Pagano spent the 2012 season as the defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers. He coached linebackers during Chudzinski’s two stints with the Chargers. Chudzinski was a tight ends coach (2005-06) and an assistant head coach/tight ends coach (2009-10) in San Diego.
Pagano was a defensive coordinator for the first time during the 2012 season. The Chargers ranked ninth with 326.4 yards allowed per game and 16th with 21.9 points allowed per game.
On Friday, Chudzinski, an offensive coach, and CEO Joe Banner indicated they like hybrid defenses that use 3-4 and 4-3 alignments, but the defensive coordinator will ultimately decide the type of scheme the Browns use. The Browns have used a 4-3 system for the past two seasons under defensive coordinator Dick Jauron, who’s not expected to return.
Pagano ran a 3-4 base defense in San Diego, but the Chargers also used multiple looks. Outside linebackers would often move up to the line and get into a three-point stance to create a four-man front.
The Kansas City Chiefs also targeted Pagano, but the Chargers have yet to let him out of his deal, according to the report. Pagano, 45, is the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano.
Chudzinski is also expected to name ex-Chargers coach Norv Turner his offensive coordinator. Turner was fired Dec. 31 after guiding the Chargers for six seasons.
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is another candidate to lead the Browns' defense. But Tucker is reportedly scheduled to interview for the Jaguars’ coaching position next week.