When this idea was pitched to a national television audience prior to Sunday Night Football, my jaw dropped a little bit. Retread coaching candidates have always been in vogue around the league and many have pointed toward some of the analysts nowadays getting back into coaching in 2013. Peter King reported it so it must have some validity, but how would Steve Mariucci fit as head coach of the San Diego Chargers?
“Mooch” as he is affectionately referred to by many was a success with the San Francisco 49ers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He moved on from there for three relatively forgettable years with the Detroit Lions from 2003-2005 and has resided with the NFL Network ever since.
What would make Mariucci an appealing option for the Bolts as they look to fill their soon to be vacant head coaching gig? Well, he is well-known for his West Coast style of offense and that would fit very well with the personnel that the Chargers currently have in place. Also just the fact that he reportedly has interest in the job in the first place is a step in the right direction. Most believe that the Bolts head coaching position has lost its appeal throughout the league due to their continuous disappointments year after year.
Of course Mariucci adamantly denied having any interest in the job when confronted with King’s report saying: “I would never comment on a coaching job where there’s a coach in place, and the coach down there in San Diego happened to be a very good friend of mine, Norv Turner. There’s no way I would ever discuss this right now, I don’t know where it comes from. Let’s just stop the nonsense, okay? Please.”
That so-called nonsense may stop momentarily, but expect it to resume after the Chargers announce as expected that Turner has been fired following next week’s regular season finale. If this were to happen, I can’t help but think how much this hire would resemble the hiring of Turner less than a decade ago. Mariucci has always been billed as an offensive mastermind from the Bill Walsh coaching tree, but he really has very little to back that up on his resume.
Hopefully this comes to pass and the Chargers start their search in the new world of NFL coaches. Continuing to pursue retreads in hopes that they can rekindle some of the magic they had decades ago is only a path to mediocrity. I’m all for recycling, just not head coaches. The league has evolved and the Bolts need to find a coach that fits the new style currently succeeding in the NFL.
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