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Pagano Meets Younger Brother

Monday’s Colts game at San Diego features teams trying to gain position for the looming playoff chase. Every coach is intent solely on that prize. That means Chuck Pagano will be trying to best someone close to him, his younger brother, John, the Chargers’ defensive coordinator.





INDIANAPOLIS – Monday is all about the Colts getting to 5-1 when they meet the Chargers, and San Diego is looking to even its record at 3-3 after a loss at Oakland.

For the 40 coaches involved, that is the sole focus.  When it was brought to his attention Monday that San Diego means contesting his younger brother, John, Chuck Pagano anticipated the question and set the tone for the week.

"Another ballgame, it's just another ballgame," said Pagano on Monday.  "We've played each other before.  There's no communication this week, for obvious reasons.  It's another football game."

Chuck Pagano, who turned 53 recently, is nearly seven years older than his brother, who at 12 seasons is the Chargers' longest-tenured coach.

Sons of prominent Fairview (Colo.) High School coach Sam Pagano, they worked together at UNLV from 1990-91 before splitting paths.

John Pagano found the route to Indianapolis faster, serving from 1998-2001 as a defensive assistant under Jim Mora.  He then left for San Diego, serving in four defensive capacities before ascending to coordinator in 2012.

Chuck Pagano entered the NFL in 2001 with Cleveland, toiling as secondary coach there through 2004.  The Chargers won two meetings with the Browns during that time.

Chuck Pagano spent the next two seasons in Oakland as secondary coach, pairing the brothers in the AFC West where San Diego won the series meetings.

Chuck Pagano spent four seasons in Baltimore (2008-11) before arriving in Indianapolis.  His successful four-year stint saw the Ravens sport one of the NFL's top defenses, and he served as coordinator in his final season.

The Ravens and Chargers met twice during that span, with Baltimore winning once in San Diego (2009) before dropping another contest there in 2011.

Chuck Pagano and John Pagano Head-to-Head Games in NFL






SD at Cleveland

26-20 W-SD

CP-Secondary/JP-Def. Asst.-Quality Control


SD at Cleveland

21-  0 W-SD

CP-Secondary/JP-Def. Asst.-Quality Control


SD at Oakland

27-14 W-SD

CP-Secondary/JP-Asst. LB-Quality Control


Oakland at SD

34-10 W-SD

CP-Secondary/JP-Asst. LB-Quality Control


SD at Oakland

27-  0 W-SD

CP-Secondary/JP-Asst. LB-Quality Control


Oakland at SD

21-14 W-SD

CP-Secondary/JP-Asst. LB-Quality Control


Baltimore at SD

31-26 W-Baltimore



Baltimore at SD

34-14 W-SD

CP-Defensive Coordinator/JP-Linebackers

Pagano will be taking his Colts to the West Coast for the second time in a month.  Indianapolis nabbed a 27-7 victory at San Francisco on September 22 and owns a 2-0 road mark this season, 6-4 during Pagano's 21-game tenure.

Sunday's game holds other connections as well.  Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky had 2002-06 (linebackers) and 2011 (coordinator) tenures with San Diego, while assistant offensive line coach Hal Hunter held the same role there in 2006 before taking the lead positional role in 2007, then adding coordinator duties in 2012.

Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco was a 15-year veteran personnel presence with the Colts who served as vice president of football operations in 2012.  Quarterbacks Coach Frank Reich (2008-11) and Special Teams Coordinator Kevin Spencer (1998-01) held the same positions previously in Indianapolis.

The Colts' career sack leader, Dwight Freeney (107.5), signed with the Chargers this past off-season and is on injured reserve after a quadriceps injury in week four.

"We were all sick to see that his season was cut short by the injury.  You can't say enough great things about Dwight," said Pagano.  "I know we only had one season together but when you look at what he did for this organization, this city, he's a great, great football player.  

"(I have) nothing but great things to say about Dwight.  Coming here (in 2012), the strain that changing systems put on him and Robert (Mathis) and just how they bought in and did everything that we asked, I got nothing but fond memories about him."

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