Justin Herbert offers Chargers ownership help in head coach search

The Sporting Tribune's Fernando Ramirez explains why the Chargers must think about Justin Herbert when deciding their next head coach.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Justin Herbert is the most important player in the Los Angeles Chargers franchise.

That is why the franchise rewarded him with a $252 million contract last offseason.

Herbert is the reason why the Chargers job is the most attractive head coaching destination.

This is why Dean Spanos and his family can’t get this head coach and general manager hire wrong.

They must get this right.

Herbert has been in the NFL for four seasons with a 30-32 record in the regular season and has only been to the playoffs once.

He has had two head coaches and three offensive coordinators. He went through something similar at Oregon, with three head coaches and four different offensive coordinators in four years.

“I think experiences like that are always helpful,” Herbert said. “That’s just part of the game of being a professional and going about your business. It’s up to us to understand the playbook. It’s up to us to go through it and make sure that everyone’s dialed into it.”

The Chargers have many questions all over the roster, so the general manager will have their work cut out for them because there is over $120 million tied up between Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joey Bosa, and Khalil Mack.

They only have one running back on the roster under contract, Isaiah Spiller. 

Going back to the head coach, Herbert said Monday during exit interviews that he would offer his thoughts to the Spanos family as they start their search.

“I know that they’re working on that and we have complete faith and trust in the front office to do their job and they’ve done a great job so far,” Herbert said. “Hopefully, I’m able to talk with them and offer whatever advice I have.

“Having been in the league for four years, I hope that I’m getting better with understanding and seeing things the way they are.”

During the first two seasons in the Brandon Staley era, the offense thrived with Herbert at the helm, even with some of the injuries they sustained. The defense was never what it was meant to be, especially with the money and players they had on that side.

This season was something out of the Twilight Zone. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. The offense had three or four strong performances but without a run game. They had season-ending injuries to Herbert, Williams, and center Corey Linsley.

There have been talks of a rift in the locker room during that time, and the play on the field led to Staley and general manager Tom Telesco’s firing after the thrashing from the 63-21 to the Raiders.

It will be interesting to see what route the Spanos family decides to take because the hot story is that they are headed toward a Jim Harbaugh marriage after he won a National Championship with Michigan.

There is also former Titans head coach Mike Vrabel, who has done an exceptional job in Tennessee during his tenure. His former players have said great things about him.

There are also names like Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and others.

“We’ve got complete trust in them, and if they came to me and they needed my viewpoint, my perspective, I’d love to offer it,” Herbert said. 

Herbert has thrown for 17,496 yards and 115 touchdowns and has completed 67% of his passes in four seasons.

This offense must improve the offensive line, get the run game going, and let Herbert be Herbert. 

The Chargers brass need to get this next coaching hire right and think about their quarterback, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. They need a leader of men that the locker room can trust can lead them to the finish line.

“They have been great with me so far over the past four years, and I’ll continue to do my best at quarterback,” Herbert said. “I understand that’s my position and that’s my role and with it come other responsibilities.”