The Chargers have a head coaching vacancy that needs to be filled. They fired Anthony Lynn and will be starting from scratch. They have many of the qualities that the candidates are looking for, which is a quarterback, cap space, and talented players at numerous positions.
When looking for a new head coach, the Chargers brass needs to know what they are looking for in a candidate. Since Tom Telesco has taken over as the general manager, they haven't done a good job choosing a coach and correctly filling out the team.
Both Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn started their Chargers tenure with winning seasons. McCoy started 18-14 and with one playoff win, while Lynn started 21-11 with one playoff win.
They need something different. They need to think outside of the box.
Dean Spanos, John Spanos, and Telesco need to hire a coach that is either an offensive play calling wizard for their rookie quarterback or a defensive genius.
Here are the three top choices in no particular order:
- Eric Bieniemy- Chiefs Offensive Coordinator
Starting with this, Bieniemy is a former Chargers running back who was on the Super Bowl team of 1994 and had the longest play by a Charger. So, he would be returning to the team who drafted him in the second round of the 1991 draft.
Bieniemy is a sought-after candidate by almost every team with a head coach vacancy. He has been the offensive coordinator since 2018 when quarterback Patrick Mahomes took over as the starting quarterback. The quarterback threw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his first season as a starter and won the MVP award.
In his second season, Bieniemy had to play Matt Moore at quarterback because Mahomes went down with an injury and went 2-1 with him. When Mahomes came back, the Chiefs went on an 8-1 run on their way to winning Super Bowl 54.
Bieniemy has been through the most crucial part of Mahomes young career. The offseason between year one and two. He could come in and install an offense for Justin Herbert, who has some similar qualities to Mahomes.
2. Brian Daboll- Buffalo Bills Offensive Coordinator
This one seems like a slam dunk because of the ties between Daboll and the Chargers. Joe Buscaglia from The Athletic said that Daboll went to high school with Telesco in Western New York.
What Daboll brings is something unique. He was around the New England Patriots organization during their first dynasty and was part of the first two Super Bowls of the Patriot's newest dynasty. He has been around the making of a championship team.
He went from learning from Bill Belichick to learning from Nick Saban at Alabama in 2017. He won the National Championship.
That is a great background but what he has done in Buffalo is impressive. The Bills drafted Josh Allen, a quarterback whom many experts saw as a quarterback with a big-armed, but no accuracy. In three seasons, Allen has gone from completing 53 percent of his passes to 59 percent last season and now 69 percent this season.
Daboll has designed a great offense for Allen. The third-year quarterback is now in contention for the MVP award, and the Bills are second in the AFC playoff picture.
Allen is a quarterback that Herbert was often compared to because they are big-armed, athletic, and smart quarterbacks. Daboll could really help ascend Herbert to the superstar level the way he has for Allen.
3. Robert Saleh- San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator
What can be said about Saleh, except he should already be a head coach. He has been the defensive coordinator of the 49ers since 2017. He has built the defense into a powerhouse that was able to take the 49ers to the Super Bowl.
Saleh is a coach whom players love to play for, and it has been evident during the television broadcast when the defense causes a turnover, they run to him to celebrate.
2020 has been a very impressive year for Saleh and his defense. He has missed Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas to ACL injuries, while also missing secondary weapons like Jaquiski Tartt, Jonathan Cyprien, and Richard Sherman for most of the season.
Saleh's defense is ranked sixth in total defense, tenth in rushing defense, and fourth against the pass. Sherman, Pete Carroll, and numerous others around the league have advocated for Saleh.
He will have multiple offers, especially his hometown Detroit Lions, but the Chargers have special defensive players like Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and Kenneth Murray who could entice him to make his way to Southern California.
4. Jim Harbaugh- Michigan Wolverines head coach
The Wolverines head coach is said to be in negotiations for an extension, but Harbaugh has to have a burning desire to return to the NFL. He has unfinished business. He went to the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.
When Harbaugh arrived at San Francisco, they had a talented core, which he was able to make trades and sign players to piece it together. The Chargers have a better core than the 49ers had when he joined them. The Chargers have a better quarterback than the 49ers had at any point.
The Chargers aren't complete, but they have some key building blocks, the 13th overall pick in the draft, and some cap space. They also have a fan base yearning for an out of the box type of coach after having Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn as their coach.
Harbaugh doesn't overstay his welcome, but he will get the most out of this team. It would also be awesome to see him play catch with Herbert pregame.