Jesse Minter joins Jim Harbaugh’s Chargers staff as defensive coordinator

Jim Harbaugh, as expected, brings in Jesse Minter as his defensive coordinator to improve the Chargers defense.

Jim Harbaugh has been busy since taking over as the Chargers’ head coach. He brought Jesse Minter with him from Michigan to become his defensive coordinator in Los Angeles, according to the team.

Minter was instrumental in the success of Michigan’s national championship run, featuring the best defense in the country.

His defense was suffocating, got after the quarterback, and took the ball away.

Going into the big game, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was on a hot streak, but he was neutralized, being held to 27/51 for 255 yards through for only one touchdown and two interceptions. A high-scoring offense only puts up 13 points.

Minter was previously under John Harbaugh from 2017-2020 in various roles, the last being as the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive backs coach. He moved to Vanderbilt to be their defensive coordinator for one season before heading to Ann Arbor to be Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator for two seasons.

There has been a path to success from being the defensive coordinator of Jim Harbaugh to being a defensive coordinator in the NFL.

The perfect example is Mike Macdonald, who has been the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens for the last two seasons.

Macdonald’s defense has shown the emergence of defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and the brilliance of second-year safety Kyle Hamilton, and it features one of the best linebacking duos in Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen.

Another bright point was the fact the Ravens brought in pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney late into camp while Kyle Van Noy during the season, and both ended the season with more than nine sacks each.

Minter will have his work cut out for him because the defense has a lot of question marks. The cap numbers of pass rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa are in the $30 million, so one of them might not be back. The cornerback situation is very thin, with only Asante Samuel Jr. showing promise. The defensive line and linebacking core need a lot of work.

One player that will benefit from the addition of Minter as the defensive coordinator will be safety Derwin James. He was asked to do too much in Brandon Staley’s defense so Minter could simplify things and help James get back to his all-pro level.

This is a big addition for the Chargers because Minter’s defensive scheme will help bring out the best in a lot of players. Who will those players be? That is a good question.

There is a lot of work to do, but Minter is a brilliant defensive mind who could turn one of the underachieving defenses of the last three seasons into one of the better ones.