Simon Fletcher

The Chargers have brought in some experience and knowledge to the coaching staff, adding former Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan as the linebackers coach. He replaces Joe Barry who left San Diego to become the defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins.

Nolan comes to the Bolts with a rich coaching background. Most recently, he spent the last three seasons at the defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons. In 2012, he was able to improve the defensive from a 21st overall ranked unit to 9th in the league all while making an impressive playoff run.

The veteran coach has also spent some time with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, and Miami Dolphins. He spent three seasons as the linebackers coach in Denver from 1989 to 1992 which he coached Simon Fletcher and Karl Mecklenburg; respectively some of the best linebackers in Denver team history. Additionally, Nolan was Denver’s defensive coordinator in 2009 when Mike McCoy was offensive coordinator.

During his stint from 1997 to 1999 in Washington, he was able to improve the defense to an overall 2nd ranked unit. It’s safe to say that he has a niche for building stout defenses.

Nolan comes to San Diego already familiarized with the current 3-4 base defense; he ran the same scheme last year in Atlanta. The transition should be relatively easy for the young and talented linebacker unit that he will inherit.

The Chargers ended the 2014 season as a top 10 ranked defense. Now the team looks to top the NFL with an experienced coaching staff guiding a stealthy defensive unit.

Briana Soltis

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