Look no further than a “football glamorous” head coach to take over for Mike McCoy. There’s no way that McCoy will coach the Chargers after relocation. What I mean by “football glamorous” is not necessarily an attention-grabbing type of coach when it comes to the media. Well, one of the options I talk about may be someone that you consider a headline maker, but that’s really due to the media that covered him.
The first head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, although the process is pending it’s been inevitable since I predicted them to move in 2008, owner Dean Spanos is going to select an offensive mind to pair with quarterback Philip Rivers. So for one, coaching a team in L.A., and two, getting to work with an elite QB. It’s a desirable job for many reasons, whether you like how Spanos runs the franchise or not, but he won’t be able to hide in the vacation city of San Diego anymore. Maybe physically, but he and his team are entering the media spotlight here.
I’m just going to spit out a few coaches that have been on my mind. Sean Payton has been rumored to be on his way out of New Orleans, and the sense I’ve been getting is, that it’s a mutual feeling. I saw what Drew Brees had to say about staying with the Saints with Payton, but that’s not a player’s decision and it’s only an opinion of an elite QB showing wear and tear. Payton comes from the Bill Parcell tree of coaches, had stints in New York and Dallas, led New Orleans to a Super Bowl after a horrible Hurricane Katrina, there aren’t too many options to think of better than him. He’s taken a team from scrap with an unproven quarterback, and built through the draft as opposed to luring in big name free agents. That certainly sounds like the Chargers’ approach.
I’m also staring at Chip Kelly, who just got let go by the Eagles. Look, there were a lot of people to pick sides when he first got the job and most of those people feel the same way. You can check out my thoughts on the Kelly situation here, but moving on, he only got one offseason to assemble the roster before the front office cut their ties. Tom Telesco is the current general manager that you would expect to be around for a long time, considering how slow Spanos is to make changes, the worst when he fired Marty Shottenheimer after going 14-2 and the Bolts have struggled since. Kelly would inherit an upper tier quarterback, and before you mention that Rivers doesn’t really run, all Sam Bradford was asked to do was make quick decisions and be accurate. That’s all that Nick Foles was asked to do when he emerged as a MVP candidate that won Pro Bowl MVP in Kelly’s first season. I bet your opinions of Bradford, Foles, even Michael Vick or Mark Sanchez who all started at some point for Kelly, aren’t very complimentary. Yet, Chip went 26-21 in Philly with a division title.
Do you really think that a defensive coach is going to catch the Chargers’ attention after offensive eras of Shottenheimer, Norv Turner, and McCoy? That’s clearly what the Bolts would want the strength of the team to be. Even before those coaches, there was Mike Riley, Kevin Gilbride, and Bobby Ross. To their credit, those last three all had experience coaching positions on both sides of the ball, but coming into their tenure in San Diego, they worked with the offense. If you really think that the trend will be broken with this next move, check this out, 14 of their 15 coaches in franchise history since 1960 have been offensive minds. Those include the innovative Sid Gillman, who elected to call deep passing plays often, and Don Coryell, a pioneer of the I-formation. The Spanos family purchased majority interest in 1984, meaning, that every single coach they picked worked primarily with the offense. Alright, I hope you history buffs got your fix with all that.
Would Jon Gruden finally consider a return to the field? Would the Los Angeles coaching position be enough to pry him away from the Monday Night Football booth and Mike Tirico? He’s a popular guy to throw into the hat every other year or so, and he could very well get back into broadcasting whenever he chooses to, and you guessed it if you don’t recall, he’s another offensive mind. So are Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan, who are reportedly interested in coaching again after years away from coaching. Then you get some high-profile college guys that have dipped into the NFL, Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh. Some could see a Bill Belichick or Pete Carroll-like turn-around for Kelly, Saban, or Harbaugh. If L.A. isn’t big enough of an opportunity to lure a former head coach back into the game, then I don’t know what is.
Offense, offense, offense. Location, location, location.