Look, I've done this article before. More than one BFTB staff writer has put out an article on who should be the next coach of the San Diego Chargers. However, when we did it before, it was when Norv Turner had been fired.
Now, we're in a slightly different situation. The GM is staying, and the head coach may stay as well. So, without further ado, let's make a list of some of the guys the Chargers should be interviewing this offseason....and split it up based on openings within the organization.
If they fire Mike McCoy...
Having the team's GM in place makes things a little tricky, especially when it's a GM who hasn't been doing this very long. Chances are, anyone who comes in is going to have to be in lock-step with a guy that they've never worked with before. That's easier said than done.
Here's a short list of guys that have been head coaches on teams while Tom Telesco was employed by that same team:
- Dom Capers
- Jim Mora Sr.
- Tony Dungy
- Jim Caldwell
- Chuck Pagano
- Bruce Arians
Of that list, only Caldwell and Pagano might be available and interested in the job of being the San Diego Chargers head coach. Caldwell shouldn't even get an interview, he's been terrible with the Colts and Lions, but Pagano might be worth consideration. More on this in a second.
Probably not going to happen:
Gase is notable because he has ties to John Fox and Mike Mccoy. in my book, that makes him less like to get the job.
McDaniels has said publicly that, when he becomes an NFL head coach again, it'll be somewhere where ownership doesn't get involved in football operations. That might make it a hard sell, with John Spanos playing a big role in football operations in San Diego.
Wade Phillips is past the point of being considered a viable NFL coach, right? That'd be like re-hiring Norv Turner.
- Jim Mora Jr., UCLA head coach
- Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M head coach
- Doug Marrone, Jaguars OL coach
- Sean McDermott, Panthers DC
- Hue Jackson, Bengals OC
- Kyle Shanahan, Falcons OC
- Jim Harbaugh, Michigan head coach
Jim Mora Jr. is notable here in that his father once coached a team that Telesco worked for. Oh, also, he was a coach on the San Diego Chargers' staff in the 1980s (seriously).
As much as I'd love Kevin Sumlin, I don't think the Chargers can come anywhere close to paying him what A&M can. Same is true for Harbaugh. However, if either guy is interested, I'd let them go nuts.
Obvious issue for Harbaugh, and probably Hue Jackson, is issues that they've had with front office control in the past. Walking in knowing that Telesco and Spanos are running the show on that side might lead to a hard pass.
If they don't fire Mike McCoy...
Here's where things really get interesting, if not somewhat short-sighted.
If the team retains both Telesco and McCoy, their targets for OC and DC will be specific. They'll be looking for a guy with head coaching experience that can bring the kind of expertise that Ken Whisenhunt brought in 2013. Someone who is auditioning for another coaching job. Unfortunately, that someone will either be terrible or won't stay very long (ala Whisenhunt).
Here are the options:
- Ken Whisenhunt, former Titans head coach
- Chuck Pagano, Colts head coach
- Rob Chudzinski, Colts OC
- Sean Payton, Saints head coach
- Bill Callahan, Redskins OL coach
- Jim Schwartz, former Lions head coach
That's an interesting list!
Best-case scenario for the 2016 San Diego Chargers is probably that Pagano gets canned along with his staff and he, along with Chud, comes over to replace John Pagano (with Chud replacing Reich). Telesco gets to be GM of the "Colts", since he can't be the GM of the Colts, and the Chargers get a couple of guys that can call plays and build something of an identity when they have talented players on the field.
If Pagano falls through, I would not be opposed to McCoy handing the keys to the defense to Schwartz and getting the hell out of the way, while maybe bringing back Ken Whisenhunt to run the offense (if he wants to).
The wild card here is Callahan, who has had some good times and some bad times as a coach in the NFL and college levels. Also Payton, who will likely get another head coaching job (like Miami) hours after being fired (if he does get fired).
There you have it....
There's your list of guys to keep an eye on. At least, guys I'm keeping my eyes on during this upcoming offseason. If there's anyone else you think should be added to the list, let me know in the comments below, but be prepared for me to tell you exactly why they didn't make any of the lists above.