Chargers head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco will remain at the helm for the 2023 season despite speculation that the team's 27-point blown lead to the Jaguars in the Wild Card Round could lead to an exit from the franchise.
However, changes to the coaching staff have been made. The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day, the club announced Tuesday.
Staley and Teleco will address the media on Wednesday and Thursday of this week at 11 a.m. PT at the team headquarters. Their first plan of attack for the offseason will be of the utmost importance – hire an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach that will tap into Justin Herbert's full potential.
Herbert is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract and is likely to receive a lucrative extension this offseason, creating even more urgency to get the offense right while his salary cap number is more team-friendly during the next few seasons.
As the team engineers its search, here are five candidates that appear as possible fits to replace Lombardi as offensive coordinator:
Frank Reich, former Colts HC
Following a midseason exit from Indianapolis after serving as the Colts head coach since 2018, Reich is one of the hottest names under consideration for head coach and offensive coordinator openings. He has reportedly interviewed for the Carolina Panthers head coaching job, but if Reich doesn’t wind up getting a head gig, it's possible he settles into a coordinator role in 2023. Reich is seven years removed from his previous stint with the Chargers where he served as the quarterbacks coach in 2013 and offensive coordinator in 2014-15. Having another voice in the building who carries with him head coaching experience such as Reich, would be a big lift for Brandon Staley and others on staff in the season ahead.
Mike LaFleur, former Jets OC
The Jets moved on from LaFleur as the team's offensive coordinator after two years in New York. He's reportedly emerged as a fit for the Rams' offensive coordinator vacancy and is "expected" to land on staff there. But with the Chargers offensive coordinator position now open, perhaps anything is on the table with the attraction to coach Herbert. LaFleur comes from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree, where he worked under him across three different stops, including the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. Most recently, LaFleur spent four seasons under Shanahan as the pass game coordinator in San Francisco before taking a larger role in New York.
Darrell Bevell, Dolphins QB coach
Bevell is another candidate that could be in the mix. He has a long background as an offensive coordinator, having occupied the position from 2006-10 with the Minnesota Vikings, 2011-17 with the Seattle Seahawks, 2019-20 with the Detroit Lions and 2021 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's also served as an interim head coach twice, in 2020 with the Lions and 2021 with the Jaguars. Bevell is currently on staff with the Dolphins as the quarterback coach, lifting Miami's offense to greater heights this past season alongside head coach Mike McDaniel. Bevell has reportedly received interest to interview with the New York Jets for their offensive coordinator position.
Thomas Brown, Rams TE coach, assistant HC
Brown has had a lot of momentum surrounding himself during the hiring cycle the past two seasons. He came through the coaching ranks as a running backs coach, including stops at Wisconsin and Georgia. Brown made the jump to the NFL in 2020, joining Sean McVay's staff as the running backs coach. McVay has continually referenced Brown the past few seasons as a key voice in their building. Brown was given the title assistant head coach in 2021 and has interviewed several times for head coaching openings. Ahead of the 2022 season, Brown moved to the Rams' tight ends coach. He reportedly completed an interview with the Houston Texans for their head coaching position on Tuesday.
Todd Monken, Georgia OC
Monken is fresh off a College Football National Championship with the Georgia Bulldogs for the second consecutive season. Monken has had a lot of success at the college level, guiding former walk-on Stetson Bennett in becoming a Heisman Finalist. Monken also has experience in the NFL, serving as the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016-18 and with the Cleveland Browns in 2019. Monken is reportedly receiving interest from NFL teams in this year's hiring cycle.
Other potential candidates
- Kliff Kingsbury, former Cardinals HC
- Zac Robinson, Rams pass game coordinator/QB coach
- Dan Pitcher, Bengals QB coach
- Greg Olson, Rams senior offensive assistant
- Joe Brady, Bills QB coach
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Read more from Charger Report:
- Chargers Fire OC Joe Lombardi, Quarterbacks Shane Day Following Playoff Collapse
- Chargers Edge Rusher Joey Bosa Explains What Led to His Outburst in Wild Card Round vs. Jaguars
- 'We Believe': Chargers Players Back Brandon Staley to Return as Head Coach for 2023 Season
- Takeaways From Chargers' 31-30 Wild Card Round Loss vs. Jaguars
- Chargers Collapse in Wild Card Round vs. Jaguars, Blow 27-Point Lead
Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.