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Chargers name Giff Smith interim head coach, JoJo Wooden interim general manager

The Chargers’ long-time defensive coach will attempt to finish the 2023 season with pride as their interim head coach.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the Chargers announced the firings of both head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco earlier this morning, they’ve now officially announced their interim replacements.

Giff Smith, the team’s edge rushers coach, will be the team’s interim head coach while JoJo Wooden, the team’s Director of Player of Personnel, will take over general manager duties for the remainder of the season. Giff has been with the Chargers since 2016 while Wooden joined the franchise in 2013.

It may come as a surprise to many that offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was not given the opportunity to be the interim head coach since he’s also been rumored to be a candidate for other job openings, such as the one in Carolina. Moore not getting the nod here, to me, means one thing: the Chargers do not view him as a potential candidate for their job.

Wooden, on the other hand, has plenty of respect within league circles and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a real shot at winning the job. However, I feel like keeping Wooden wouldn’t allow the Chargers for the true reset that they desperately need. At least as far as the front office goes, the Chargers should truly clean out the cupboard. Wooden has had his fingerprints on a number of smart moves made by the franchise in recent years but he’s also had his say in some pretty bad ones. I’d say a clean break is the way.

With three weeks to go in the regular season, the Chargers can now begin their search for their head coach and general manager of the future.