And the Next Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers is…
And the Next Head Coach of the San Diego Chargers is...
No one really knows what to expect from the San Diego Chargers when they finally name their choice as the franchise’s next head coach. This team needs plenty of work in terms of personnel and new general manager Tom Telesco can’t possibly do that all overnight. After an offensive minded coach for the better part of a decade, one would think this team would move in a defensive direction this time around. Still it’s impossible to even pin that down as a prerequisite for the job.
There is a wide variety of personalities, names, and skill sets on the list of coaches set to interview with the Bolts in pursuit of the club’s next sideline commander. After years of preaching continuity and stability, the Chargers now seem more interested in upheaval and drastic change.
This revolution of sorts is almost forced upon team ownership whenever the fans stop showing up in protest and multiple home games during the course of one season are subject to the local blackout rule. Fans are fed up with the same old Chargers and they want a reason to believe that this team is malleable enough to get back into position as a playoff contender.
Some names involved in the team’s wide array of candidates are ones that are very recognizable while others are much more obscure. What fans can finally count on is that this time the Bolts won’t be settling when they name the 15th head coach in franchise history. This hunt has been long and arduous with a search committee dedicated to making this decision be the best one that the club has experienced in a number of years.
It won’t be an easy choice with a number or worthy candidates on the club’s list, but let’s take a look at just who might be named the next head coach of the Chargers.
The Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator was actually the first to interview for the job on Thursday, January 10th and given the performance of his unit this year, he would be a terrific choice. He is 46 years of age and has been the coordinator in Seattle since 2009. Telesco is the youngest GM in team history and Bradley would continue that youthful trend in positions of authority for the franchise. His name is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Hiring a coach who was just fired earlier this offseason doesn’t make a ton of sense, but Smith had plenty of success while with the Chicago Bears. His interview took place on Friday, January 11th and there are plenty of questions that had to have come up during that conversation. Smith’s club had three offensive coordinators in the past four years and that type of unsettledness isn’t a positive with a head coach.
This one made me shake my head as soon as the Bolts fired Norv Turner and Whisenhunt was reported as interested in the Chargers’ job. Who wouldn’t be after coaching an Arizona Cardinals team that started out 4-0 only to lose 11 of their next 12 to close out the year? He interviewed on Saturday, January 12th and it’s hard to imagine what he could say to sell himself to the Bolts after that performance this year.
There is some serious interest in the second-rate Gruden as the Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator has done a remarkable job developing Andy Dalton. He has been making the rounds in terms of interviews, but has yet to visit the Bolts. Perhaps he comes in and knocks their socks off. It would be hard to sell me on another offensive mind after what the past six years have yielded with Norv.
The UCLA head coach was whispered as a real possibility early on in the search, but his recent extension with the university almost completely rules that out. While his time with the Atlanta Falcons and the Seahawks ended abruptly and uneventfully, Mora still has a great charisma on the sideline. He likely won’t be the man chosen, but he certainly could have offered some real potential.
This is the name that most have linked to the Bolts given his familiarity with Telesco this season in Indy. If it’s hard to sell me a young coach with an offensive mind, it’s even more difficult to peddle an old coach who was basically fired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as offensive coordinator before latching on with the Colts and making a magical run this past season. Perhaps his ties to Bolts defensive coordinator John Pagano make him the favorite, but it wouldn’t be a new wave hire by any stretch of the imagination.
After the Denver Broncos flamed out of the playoffs, their offensive coordinator will now likely be in hyper-speed interview mode. His work with Peyton Manning this season and the miracle that was Tim Tebow the year before has earned him some serious praise. Still, Manning can make anyone look like a genius. As for Tebow, well, divine intervention? McCoy will interview with the Chargers this week, but hiring him wouldn’t make me happy either.
With Ron Wolf’s position as a consultant in this process for the Chargers, Holmgren was considered an early favorite. His name has quickly disappeared and by all accounts he hasn’t even been contacted for an interview. Logic would say that he is out of the running, but logic said six years ago that there was no way Norv would be the man chosen. Fingers crossed.
This is my personal favorite to get the job. He is scheduled to meet with the Bolts sometime this week and his work in Cincy has been overlooked for far too long. Zimmer’s defenses over the past four years have ranked 4th in the league in 2009, middle of the pack in 2010, 7th in 2011, and 6th overall this past season. That is quite a track record of success being in the top seven three of four years. His passion for the game along with a fiery attitude would be a great addition to a Chargers locker room that has gotten stale in recent years. If it was my decision to make, Zimmer would get the job.