Chargers Three Dark Horse Candidates in Coaching Search

Could any dark horse candidate be hired by the Bolts?
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The coaching search continues for the Chargers brass as they wrap up round one of potential candidates. They have reportedly interviewed around eight candidates in that time. It could be more.

During general manager Tom Telesco's press conference last Wednesday, he mentioned that they would cast a "wide net" when it comes to their search.

There are the usual candidates like Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Chiefs Eric Bieniemy, and others. There also could be dark horse candidates that the team could interview, and they could shock the rest of the league.

Whom could they be?

Doug Pederson- former Philadelphia Eagles head coach

Pederson is an interesting candidate because he was just fired by the Eagles earlier this week. There were said to be some disagreements about whom the team should hire for their vacant defensive coordinator job and some other openings.

He became the Eagles head coach in 2016 and went 7-9 in his first season. In his second season, the team went 13-3 with second-year quarterback Carson Wentz starting until the backend of the season when he suffered a torn ACL. They went into the playoffs with Nick Foles starting, and he was able to lead Philly to their first Super Bowl victory.

Pederson went 9-7, 9-7, and they finished this last season 4-11-1.

What happened?

The offensive line and receivers had a lot of injuries, and Wentz regressed. He was turning the ball over, making silly mistakes, and taking sacks. The relationship between Wentz and Pederson didn't finish the way it started.

Pederson is innovative and takes chances. He called the "Philly Special" right before halftime of the Super Bowl. He can coach talented teams.

"Dougie P" is now a free agent.

Could he be a fit for the Chargers? Yes, for the simple fact that the Chargers have a talented roster. He took a less talented Eagles team and built it up with GM Howie Roseman to compete. Pederson hasn't had a meeting with the Bolts.

He is an offensive mind that could help mold Justin Herbert and continue his ascension into a superstar.

Biggest concern: What happened to Carson Wentz? Was that on him, Pederson, or a combination? That is really a question and evaluation the Chargers would have to do before offering him the job.

Urban Meyer- former Ohio State Buckeye head coach

Here is the most exciting candidate who may not be a candidate but might be a candidate. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted on Wednesday that the Chargers "have continued to look into and explore Meyer as a candidate," so what does that mean? Well, Rap added that the two sides have spoken, but there hasn't been a formal interview.

Meyer is an interesting candidate because he is a college coach that hasn't stepped foot in a professional stadium as a coach. This would be his first pro job, but Meyer is a winner. He won at Bowling Green, he won at Utah, won at Florida, and won at Ohio State. His coaching record is 187-32, and he won three National Championships.

If given the job, expect him to bring in some top-notch assistants and coordinators. Meyer's potential roster has a lot of talent, and he has an established quarterback in Justin Herbert. He would also have a lot of talent on defense led by his former defensive end Joey Bosa.

It has been reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Meyer have had dinner on owner Shad Khan's yacht. That was last Friday, and no deal was signed. So, what is going on there? Well, that is the biggest question.

It will be interesting to see if the Chargers have a real interest and if they would be willing to pay top dollar for a head coach who has never coached in the NFL. Maybe the tide is turning, and owner Dean Spanos sees that he needs a top coach to hopefully lift a Lombardi Trophy.

Biggest concern: Health. Meyer has retired numerous times because of health issues.

Jim Caldwell- former Detroit Lions head coach

Caldwell is a head coach who has never had a fair shake. He was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after the Tony Dungy era. His first season went 14-2 and went to the Super Bowl, where they ultimately lost to the New Orleans Saints. The following season, he went 10-6 and lost to the New York Jets in the wild card round.

After two successful seasons, he endured quarterback Peyton Manning sitting out the 2011 season with a neck injury. The team went 2-14, but thanks to that, they were able to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, but unfortunately, Caldwell was fired before the draft.

He went to Baltimore as the quarterback coach then got promoted to the offensive coordinator. The Ravens went on to win the Super Bowl against San Francisco.

He went to Detroit, where he went 11-5 in his first season and lost to the Cowboys in the wild card round. He went 7-9 in his second season and 9-7 in his third. He led them back to the playoffs but lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the wild card. He went 9-7 again in his fourth season and missed the playoffs but was fired yet again.

He hasn't had a head coaching job since. As a head coach, Caldwell has made the playoffs four times and had six winning seasons in eight seasons.

Caldwell was able to work well with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and had him playing at a very high level. He could help with Justin Herbert's maturation, and the Chargers have a more talented roster than the Lions team he took over.

Biggest concern: He has been out of head coaching for a while, and things have changed since 2017.