New Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore doesn’t need an introduction to quarterback Justin Herbert.
Moore has been a spokesperson for a car dealership in Meridian, Idaho, since 2012. Herbert began a small role with the same dealership in 2020 and filmed some commercials last offseason with Moore serving as coach, and Herbert and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch cast as trainees or “rookies.”
The association packs extra meaning now with Moore taking over the reins of the Chargers’ offense and Herbert on the doorstep of stardom after passing for 14,089 yards and 94 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons.
“It’s amazing how life can come full circle,” Moore said, referencing the commercial shoot. “I hadn’t spent a ton of time with him outside of those couple days, but I’ve always watched him from afar, loved watching him play at Oregon and certainly what he has done in the NFL …
“We know his ability to throw it down the field. I’m just really, really excited to be able to work with him and, hopefully, help him in some way as he continues to build the career that he is going to have. I’m just really, really excited.”
Moore, 34, is now with the Chargers after eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys — three as a backup quarterback and five as an assistant coach. Moore served as offensive coordinator for the past four seasons.
The Cowboys and Moore mutually parted ways on Sunday, seven days after the season ended with a 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs.
And Moore wasn’t the least bit sad. He said knew it was time to leave though he appreciated his long stay in Dallas.
“I’ve been fortunate to have been at one spot for eight years.” Moore said. “… I love everything about that place. It’s certainly a very special place to me. As we went through the process, sometimes change can be really good for all of us, and I felt like I was in that space. It works for both sides.
“I think that it’s an awesome opportunity for Dallas, and an awesome opportunity for me. I’m certainly really, really excited about how this thing all played out.”
Moore also recently interviewed for the Carolina Panthers’ head-coaching position that was filled by the hiring of Frank Reich.
A record-setting quarterback at Boise State when the team went 50-3 from 2008-11, Moore has been a fast riser on the coaching front.
His success led Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley to move quickly in pursuit of Moore, and the sides had a deal less than 24 hours after Moore’s departure from the Cowboys.
Moore and Staley previously established a relationship when the Cowboys and Chargers held joint practice sessions during training camp.
“It was a very fast process in very unique circumstances,” Moore said. “Enjoyed my time with Brandon during those couple days, and so naturally we kind of had a relationship that extended through the season, mostly through text messages. … We kind of stayed in contact, and then, over the weekend, this thing obviously happened pretty fast.”
Moore said his initial tasks with the Chargers include studying the personnel. He is well aware there is a lot of talent with Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams all in the fold.
“I’m just really excited to get to work with them,” Moore said. “The beauty of football and the beauty of systems — you want to build it around the players. I’m excited to figure out what they do best, how they’ve worked and work, and put them in the best situations to be successful.”
Moore said the offensive attack will be a mixture of systems, even paying a nod to the historic offenses of the franchise’s San Diego days with legend Don Coryell — a current finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“We’re going to build a 2023 L.A. Chargers offense,” Moore said. “Will you be able to see the Air Coryell, Jason Garrett side? Absolutely. Will you see the West Coast and Mike McCarthy? Absolutely.
“We’ll keep things that are in place here that Justin feels really, really good about, and then we’re willing to explore.”
The Chargers went 10-7 this season before their campaign crumbled in the AFC wild-card round. The club blew a 27-point lead — the third biggest collapse in postseason history — while falling 31-30 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Shane Day after the epic loss.
Herbert recently underwent shoulder surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder and is expected to be ready for offseason workouts.
–Field Level Media