QB Justin Herbert’s voice prominent in Chargers’ OC search

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Herbert might not get the keys to the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive coordinator search, but the quarterback will steer when general manager Tom Telesco seeks input.

“I know that’s what (head coach) Brandon (Staley) thinks,” Telesco said Thursday. “And that’s the way I’ve always operated with quarterbacks who’ve kind of earned that.”

The offensive coordinator hire will be the third in Herbert’s four seasons, and Staley said Wednesday the replacement for fired Joe Lombardi needs to be innovative and adaptable.

More than anything, the play-caller must showcase his plan to feature, develop and maximize Herbert.

“We’ll always be a passing team,” Telesco said. “We have Justin Herbert. We like to throw the ball. We’re never going to be a 50/50-balance team of run and pass. But you do have to be able to run the ball efficiently and effectively, especially in the second half of games when you have leads. We were unable to do that this year.”

The Chargers were 30th in the NFL in rushing, and while not striving for exact run-pass balance, Telesco and Staley pointed to a less-predictable plan on offense.

Staley, who coached under Sean McVay with the Rams before taking over the Chargers in 2021, said ideally he would find a coordinator familiar with the McVay- or Kyle Shanahan-style scheme. The Chargers reportedly were denied in their request to interview Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Wes Phillips, who worked under McVay on the same staff as Staley in 2020.

Phillips is the son of former NFL defensive coordinator and head coach Wade Phillips and the grandson of former Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips.

Other options could include former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich, who served as Chargers’ offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015 and before that was the team’s quarterbacks coach. His tenure overlapped with Telesco, now in his 11th year with the franchise.

“There are some positives here,” Telesco said. “Understand that I’m not sitting up here saying I deserve anything, but I like where our roster is headed. I love the coaching staff.”

–Field Level Media

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