The San Diego Chargers announced today that Pete Metzelaars has been hired to take over coaching the tight ends.
When Ken Whisenhunt was wooed away by the Tennessee Titans, he had invited tight ends coach Jason Michael to come along to Nashville.
The vacancy isn’t a position in the spotlight, so not much has been said or predicted around the league who fills in for San Diego, but hiring Metzelaars immediately brings ties to newly promoted offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Both Reich and Metzelaars played for the Buffalo Bills between 1985-1994. Reich played quarterback while Metzelaars played tight end, and Reich even threw three touchdowns to Metzelaars during their time in Buffalo.
Even though that’s the initial connection, this hire is actually geared towards continuity, rather than former teammates reuniting during their coaching careers.
Reich, Metzelaars and Tom Telesco served in the Indianapolis Colts organization during part of the Peyton Manning era. Of course, Telesco was upstairs while Reich primarily coached the quarterbacks, and later the wide receivers, and Metzelaars was the offensive quality control coach from 2004-10, and ended up coaching the offensive line in 2011.
So, the key really is familiarity and skill. Both Reich and Metzelaars will know how to run the same offense envisioned and left by Whisenhunt because of their time in Indianapolis. They also bring a former player’s perspective to the offense, encouraging growth with Philip Rivers and LaDarius Green.