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Ken Norton Jr., Raiders defensive coordinator, was fired

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By Maximillian C. Burgos | Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Nov. 21st, the Oakland Raiders announced that defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was relieved of his duties and John Pagano will take over as the defensive coordinator.

“After careful thought, I have made a difficult decision to part ways with Ken Norton, Jr. as defensive coordinator,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said in a statement. “I have the utmost respect for Ken as a person and as a coach, but I feel that moving John Pagano into the play-calling role will best utilize his wealth of experience. I appreciate Ken’s passion and commitment to the Raiders since coming aboard and wish him the best going forward.”

Ken Norton Jr.

Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Ken Norton Jr. started his coaching career with the University of Southern California in 2004 as the linebackers coach. He was then promoted to assistant head coach in 2009. He moved on to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 as the linebackers coach with former Trojans head coach Pete Carroll.

He was with the Seahawks from 2010 through 2014. He served as Seattle’s linebackers coach during this time.

Norton Jr., who won three Super Bowls as a player with the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, added his fourth Super Bowl — and his first as a coach — in the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather city. The Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos, 43-8, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on February 2, 2014.

In 2015, he became the defensive coordinator for the Raiders.

Norton’s replacement, John Pagano, started his coaching career in 1989 at Mesa State College as an assistant coach. Since then, he has had many stops along the way including with teams, like the Indianapolis Colts in 1998 as the defensive assistant, the San Diego Chargers, where he coached multiple positions, and now the Raiders, where he is assistant head coach.

Pagano began the season as the Assistant Head Coach/Defense. He was last a defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2016 with the San Diego Chargers.

The Raiders defensive is the first in NFL history to not have an interception in the first 10 games since 1933. The Raiders have also allowed a league-high of 72.3 percent of passes completed. The Raiders will welcome the change at the defensive coordinator position.

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