John Pagano's entire NFL career has been spent in San Diego, not a bad location. Hired by Mary Schottenheimer in 2002, he began as a quality control coach in 2002, then moved up to assistant linebackers coach in 2003. In 2004, he advanced to coach the outside linebackers, and then in 2005 he took over as linebackers coach, a position he held until 2011.
By 2012, his 10th year in the organization, Pagano moved up to defensive coordinator, at that point working under Norv Turner. The former Redskins coach of much of the 1990s, Turner was let go after that season, and Mike McCoy was hired. McCoy retained Pagano to serve as his defensive coordinator, and he stayed in that role until this offseason.
The circumstances surrounding Pagano's release from the Chargers are a bit sloppy, including this report from a San Diego broadcaster:
The important stuff for Redskins fans: As defensive coordinator his team's twice finished in the Top 10 in yards allowed in 2012 and 2014. That's about the only real highlights on his coordinator resume, though it's worth pointing out few coaches last as long with one organization as Pagano. Below are his defense's ranks from 2012 to last season.
It also seems Pagano has no real ties to the Redskins organization, which might be considered an advantage. He never worked directly with Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden or Scot McCloughan, though his team's deployed the 3-4 base like the Washington defense. Pagano's brother Chuck is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
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Redskins safety Montae Nicholson is in the news this week for a tragic off-the-field reason: He, according to a report, is cooperating with investigators looking into the possible drug overdose death of a 21-year-old woman.
So who is Nicholson? Here's a quick summary of his football career (which obviously is not related to the 21-year-old woman's death, other than it's why his name is in the headlines this week):
He was drafted out of Michigan State by the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. More on his rookie year from an earlier report from NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay:
As a rookie in 2017, Nicholson was often available to the media and seen as a fun part of the secondary group. A November concussion changed that, understandably, and Nicholson finished his rookie season on the injured reserve. His second season started with promise but went sideways, and from the surface, the safety never seemed as comfortable as he had early in his rookie season.
Nicholson has started seven games this season, grabbing two interceptions and 25 tackles. He was also in the news earlier this year, when assault charges against him were dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Nicholson, according to the report, has not been charged in the latest off-the-field incident and is reported to be cooperating with authorities in the tragic investigation.
Redskins safety Montae Nicholson is cooperating with police following the death of a 21-year-old woman, according to TMZ Sports.
According to the report, Nicholson has not been arrested or charged for any matter in regard to the woman's death. It is thought, sources told TMZ, that the woman died of a drug overdose.
Nicholson was not at Redskins practice on Thursday afternoon as the team is preparing to play the New York Jets on Sunday. The Redskins have released the following statement:
"We’ve been made aware of the tragic event and extend our deepest sympathies to the family who lost a loved one. Our team has alerted the league office and is cooperating with local authorities. We fully support law enforcement and respect their process as they investigate the matter."