Raiders fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. after rough outing vs. Patriots

It looks like no coordinator job in the AFC West is safe. 

The latest coordinator to get the ax in that division was Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who was fired by the team on Tuesday. The team's decision to cut ties with Norton comes just one day after the Broncos made the decision to fire offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. 

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio has already announced that assistant head coach John Pagano will fill Norton's role for the rest of the season

"After careful thought, I have made a difficult decision to part ways with Ken Norton, Jr. as defensive coordinator," 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."

The firing of Norton will set up a showdown of new coordinators on Sunday when the Raiders host the Broncos with Pagano coaching against new Denver offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. 

As for Norton, the decision to fire him already isn't sitting well with at least one player. Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin took to Twitter after the announcement and called the move "BULL----."

Norton was let go less than 48 hours after watching the Raiders defense get lit up for 420 yards in a 33-8 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. 

At 4-6, the Raiders haven't lived up to expectations this season and a big reason for that is because opposing teams have been steamrolling Oakland's defense. Through 11 weeks, the Raiders are ranked 26th overall in total defense and they've also managed to set an NFL record for futility. The Raiders still don't have an interception this season, making them the only team in NFL history that's gone 10 games without recording a pick. 

The Raiders defense has also allowed the highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks this season. That total includes Tom Brady's performance on Sunday where he finished with a 131.9 QB rating after throwing for 339 yards and three touchdowns. 

Norton's firing comes less than three seasons after Del Rio brought him to Oakland. Norton was hired as the Raiders' defensive coordinator in 2015 after spending five seasons as the linebackers coach in Seattle (2010-14), where he won a Super Bowl. Before Norton joined the coaching ranks, he was a three-time Super Bowl winner during his 13-year career where he played in both Dallas (1988-93) and San Francisco (1994-2000). 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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