The search is on for the Chargers to find their next offensive coordinator. They have already requested to talk to some candidates, and they have a type of what they are searching for in an OC.
This search and hire is crucial to general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Brandon Staley because the next offensive coordinator will be responsible for quarterback Justin Herbert.
Joe Lombardi seemed at times to hold back the offense with his play call, and it didn’t seem to fit what Herbert likes to run. The fact that the offense regressed in 2022 was a big reason why he was fired.
Staley and Telesco are united on the next offensive coordinator being a strong leader.
“That’s the first thing that you look at, leadership,” Telesco said. “Then, the ability to teach and communicate, and those both go together. You’re dealing with a lot of players. Everybody learns differently, so we have to treat them all differently, but being able to really teach the concepts.”
When it comes to the on-the-field stuff, it is clear that Staley wants someone who is going to unlock this offense. An offensive-minded coach who will make Herbert get in his comfort zone while running the football takes off.
“The offenses that I think are the most challenging to defend, and the people who have been here with me, are the ones that put a lot of pressure on you every snap, in terms of marrying the run game to the pass game, putting a lot of pressure on you with personnel groupings, pace, motion, and being able to get the explosions consistently,” Staley said.
So far, the Chargers have interviewed Rams quarterback coach/passing game coordinator Zac Robinson. They will interview Rams offensive assistant Greg Olson, Vikings assistant quarterback coach Jerrod Johnson, Titans tight end coach Luke Steckel, and Rams assistant head coach Thomas Brown, according to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network.
It seems like Staley wants someone from the Sean McVay tree because they will be interviewing three coaches from his coaching tree. Here is what Staley said when he was asked if he wants someone from his tree or Kyle Shanahan when looking for an OC:
“I think it’s fair to say that the experiences that I have, that’s a fair assessment of the style of play, because that’s the offense that I believe in,” Staley said. “When I came here, that’s kind of how we got this off the ground. In terms of the passing game, that’s what we’ve been able to do at a high level for the last two years, throw the football. But, to be more explosive, you have to be able to run the football more consistently to put more pressure on people.
“What we want to do is cast a net to where we find the best person to lead our offense and to, ultimately, be a part of our team, and connect all phases to one another. That’s what I’m after.”
It will be interesting to see if more teams get eliminated from the playoffs will the Chargers put in to speak to someone like from the Bengals or 49ers staff. Cincinnati’s head coach Zac Taylor is from the McVay tree.
This hire will be crucial to the growth of Herbert since this will be his third offensive coordinator in four seasons. Telesco said they will ask for input from the young quarterback regarding their next OC.
“I think so,” Telesco said. “I know that is what [Head Coach] Brandon [Staley] thinks, and that is the way that I have always operated with quarterbacks, they have kind of earned that. At least some contact and some thought of what goes into the process, and some input.”