The Los Angeles Chargers have spent the entire offseason improving the roster and working on ways to break out of the pack and into the playoff discussion. Head coach Anthony Lynn has spearheaded those efforts, making adjustments to his staff and working with offensive coordinator Shane Steichen on revamping the scheme.
Still, after a disappointing 5-11 season in which the Chargers lost nine of 11 games decided by a touchdown or less, Lynn has some questions to answer in the eyes of the national media. Rotoworld's Patrick Daugherty, who annually ranks the NFL head coaches, released its latest list and placed Lynn outside the top half of the league.
18. Anthony Lynn
Career Record: 26-23 (.531)
With The Chargers Since: 2017
Last Year's Ranking: 11
Anthony Lynn has gone full Charger. In Year 1, he went 9-7 with a +83 point differential. No playoffs. Year 2, 12-4 and +99. Year 3? 5-11 and ... -8. The Chargers had the league's 16th best point differential but got the No. 6 overall pick. How does that happen? Philip Rivers, that's how. Rivers is now gone. Lynn will be the first Chargers boss since Marty Schottenheimer in 2005 to coach a different quarterback. Maybe now he can finally put his stamp on this team? In the Rivers Rollercoaster's wake is an excellent defense and weapons at every level of the offense. No longer inextricably linked to his quarterback, ex-RBs coach Lynn is free to implement his vision as he sees fit. Well respected by his players, Lynn has enough talent at his disposal to turn what is typically a 3-4 year job into a much longer gig.
Rotoworld makes a compelling case for and against Lynn. On the one hand, the Chargers' drop-off from 2018 to 2019 looks stark, especially considering the level of talent available on the roster. At the same time, losing 11 games and finishing with a minus-8 point differential highlights just how much bad luck the team endured last season. Los Angeles should almost experience a positive regression to the mean in 2020 and, along with the talent added to the roster this offseason, see further improvement. Factor in the additional playoff spot available in each conference, and the Chargers look well positioned to reach the postseason after missing out in 2018.
If they do, that will go a long way toward sustaining Lynn's tenure in Los Angeles.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH