Ken Norton Jr. was relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders in November. (Courtesy T.C. Perkins Jr./Travis AFB/Flickr)

Underperforming Raiders fire defensive coordinator

The Oakland Raiders fell two games below .500 on Sunday, losing to the New England Patriots by 25 points. On Tuesday, the team decided it needed to make a big change.

The organization announced it has relieved defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. of his duties.

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

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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