First off, I wanted the Chargers to hire a defensive minded coach. I have not like Pagano over the course of his tenure with the Chargers, and I’m pretty sick and tired of having “offensive gurus” be hired as head coach. It didn’t work out with Norv Turner, it didn’t work out with Mike McCoy, and it won't work with Anthony Lynn.
Anthony Lynn was on no one’s radar as a legitimate candidate for the job, and most of us thought he might be a candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Either way, I don’t believe he’s qualified for the job, and obviously, the Buffalo Bills front office didn’t think so either.
Let’s take a look at why I feel this way. He was a Running Backs coach for 12 years for the Jaguars (2003-4), Dallas Cowboys (2005-6), Cleveland Browns (2007-08), New York Jets (2009-14), and was most recently with the Buffalo Bills. I don’t know about you, but it’s not very promising that he failed year auditions with the Jaguars, Cowboys, and Cleveland Browns. He stuck with the Jets for a while, but mostly because of Chris Ivory. The last couple years he’s had a chance to work with LeSean “Shady” McCoy. He was promoted to Offensive Coordinator in September of last year, and was named Interim coach in December once Rex Ryan was fired. Oh, and the one game he was considered head coach? The Bills lost 30-10.
All I remember from the Bills last season is that they had a mess of a Quarterback situation, but had a pretty successful rushing attack. Not exactly awe inspiring if you ask me. He’s just inexperienced. Didn’t that work out poorly when the Chargers hired an inexperienced Mike McCoy? Now they want someone who has even less experience? Disclaimer: Both have been coaching since 2000, but Mike McCoy had more OC experience by years.
Yeah, they scored a bunch of points, but they didn’t score more than the opposing team on 7 occasions in 14 games. Alright, I get that doesn’t fall on the offensive coordinator, but when your team scores 30+ points in 5 games, it doesn’t scream “offensive guru.” For a good comparison, look no further than the Chargers very average offense, which only scored 30+ points in 5 games. Both were around the middle of the pack in overall yards and were at the back half of the top 10 in scoring. If I was looking for someone to hire as a head coach, I’d be looking for someone like Pete Carmichael (Saints OC) to do the job. That guy has fielded a top 4 offense EVERY season since he was hired in 2009, minus one, where his offense ranked 6th. Yeah, I get that they have Drew Brees, but the Chargers have Philip Rivers, and the Buffalo Bills have Shady McCoy. To top that all off, the Chargers have had a poor recent history with offensive-minded head coaches. The redeeming qualities for hiring Anthony Lynn are that the players loved him, he is big on discipline and prepares with a fine-toothed comb every week. Hopefully, he will bring about a team who isn’t afraid of fourth downs.
The Chargers wanted a guy who’d keep the current staff. Why? Because that’s worked out so well? They’re wanted to keep the guy who thought it was best to play All-Pro safety Eric Weddle like a linebacker? Who benched Jeremiah Attaochu for Kyle Emanuel? The guy who finished with the 24th ranked defense twice in the last 5 years, and never breaking the top 10? Yeah, the Chargers led the league in turnovers this season, but I would wager a guess that was mostly due to Casey Hayward (7 INT) and Melvin Ingram (4 FF). It’s not like the whole unit was doing a great job. I have never been a fan of Pagano.
As I’m writing it looks like Lynn wants to bring Gus Bradley in as Defensive Coordinator. Don’t even get me started on him. He started his DC with the Seahawks well, ranking 9th and 6th in his first two seasons (2009 and 2010), but he fell to 24th and 29th in his last two seasons as Defensive Coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks from 2011-2012. The redeeming quality that his defenses had is he ranked in the top 10 in points against in 2011, and allowed the least amount of points in 2012. What strikes me, though, is all of his defenses had a sort of “bend not break” mentality. While that’s fine, his defenses just didn’t create turnovers at a great rate, and I’m not incredibly impressed. To be honest, though, I think he’ll be better than Pagano, and will finally bring a 4-3 to the Chargers, and I’m glad that Lynn stuck his ground in wanting to bring someone in.
I’m still on the Whiz train. I think injuries and unfamiliarity led to the very “meh” Chargers offense this season, as the turnover on this team has been huge since he was last OC of the Chargers.
While I am not impressed with the Lynn hire, I think he’ll be a better Head Coach than Mike McCoy ever was. Despite that, I still think that Toub and Patricia were better options.