Now Hiring: Chargers’ Coaching Candidates for the 2017 Season



Josh McDaniels (Offensive Coordinator, New England Patriots)

McDaniels has prior experience as an NFL head coach, having led the Denver Broncos in 2009 and part of 2010 before being fired by the team amid a videotaping scandal (yes, he seems to be a Patriots product through and through). He has also served under the tutelage of some of the game’s all-time great minds, having been an assistant under both Bill Belichick and Nick Saban during his career. McDaniels is universally considered by league executives to have outgrown his current offensive coordinator position, and has developed a reputation for getting the most out of his players by helping keep the Patriots’ offense productive despite a bevy of moving parts in recent years (a good fit for the Chargers’ never-ending durability woes). He seems to be a perfect candidate, except for one rather obvious flaw: if he was really this good, why has he struggled to actually land a head coaching job for so long?

Matt Patricia (Defensive Coordinator, New England Patriots)

Because of the hype surrounding McDaniels, Patricia is seen as more of an afterthought when it comes to coaching prospects in the New England pipeline. However, that doesn’t mean his talent is any less than that of McDaniels. The aeronautical engineering – yes, rocket science – major from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has played a role in maintaining the Patriots’ place as a consistently good defense since 2006. Yes, his thick beard goes against the corporate look teams often search for in coaching candidates. And yes (more importantly), he lacks much in the way of an offensive pedigree, meaning hiring him would likely require additional sideline acquisitions and a good degree of patience in allowing him to learn the ropes. In spite of these drawbacks, however, there is little doubt Patricia is extremely intelligent and could team well with San Diego’s current defensive coordinator, John Pagano, to craft a dominant Chargers’ defense for many years to come.

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

John Pagano (Defensive Coordinator, San Diego Chargers)

Speaking of Pagano, his name has also been batted around as a possible candidate for the position. He’s been with the team since the Schottenheimer days, and there is certainly something to be said for considering an in-house replacement for McCoy. Considering the shortcomings of the current staff, however, it would seem to be a poor decision to maintain their regime by promoting Pagano, and the team would likely be better off pursuing candidates that could meld with Pagano’s defensive brains than simply picking Pagano himself to lead the Chargers in 2017.

Kyle Shanahan (Offensive Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons)

The son of former Broncos coach and Super Bowl champ Mike Shanahan, Kyle has begun to craft a name for himself as one of the top offensive NFL minds. His work in crafting powerful and well-rounded offensive attacks in Washington, Cleveland (sort of), and especially Atlanta of late should make him more than deserving of an interview with the Bolts’ front office. At 37, Shanahan is also younger than many other head coaching candidates, a plus in terms of connecting with a roster as green as San Diego’s will soon be. He has been connected to the Denver job recently vacated by a retiring Gary Kubiak, meaning there could be some stiff competition for his sideline services in 2017.

Jim Schwartz (Defensive Coordinator, Philadelphia Eagles)

Schwartz lacks much in the way of previous NFL head coaching success, having brought the Detroit Lions to a 29-51 record during his stint with them from 2009-2013, while his current position as defensive coordinator for the Eagles has resulted in nothing more than a middle-of-the-road performance from the Philly D. That being said, Schwartz still carries a reputation as one of the brighter defensive minds in the game. More than that, a word that is frequently used to describe him is “abrasive,” an adjective that would be ill-fitting for most job descriptions, but fits very well (in my opinion, at least) on the sidelines on Sundays.


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8 thoughts on “Now Hiring: Chargers’ Coaching Candidates for the 2017 Season

    1. A fair point. Chargers tied for fourth in the NFL in takeaways in 2016, but finished 26th in turnover differential. Not a winning formula, for sure. Five of top six in that category now playoff-bound (KC, OAK, NE, ATL, GB).

  1. Im just curious why the East Village Times is even writing about the Bolts…we all know how you folks feel over there so why do you even care?

    1. Here at EVT, our job is to translate our passion for sports in America’s Finest City into quality and consistent coverage of the city’s athletic endeavors. Until the Chargers officially announce that they will be moving (if that ever even happens), the organization is still a part of the San Diego sports scene and therefore will be covered as such. We may have some disagreements with how the team has handled front office and public relations decisions in the past, but I guarantee that no one on this staff has turned their back on the Bolts. Here’s hoping they stay 🙂

      1. I don’t make the same guarantee as Noah. Sadly, some have turned their back to the team. As have some in the fan base as well. The only one to blame is the team for how they have handled the situation. There have been, and there will be, brighter days for this franchise.

    2. The San Diego Chargers are just that… The San Diego Chargers… We will cover them until further notice. Spanos has everyone waiting on him. I’m sure he is pleased with himself for the drama he has created. Now, will his bluff pay off? That is the question. Stay tuned and thanks for the support.

  2. It sure has been interesting to be a Chargers fan during the Philip Rivers’ era. The first few years that Marty was the coach the team played out of their minds. Sadly, we let him go and the Chargers have never been the same. What makes the McCoy hire even tougher to swallow is Ron Rivera took the Panthers to the Super Bowl. I am not saying Rivera was the best defensive coordinator but I think the Chargers need a defensive guy as the coach.

    1. I agree. Defense will definitely be this team’s strength in years to come, especially as Rivers starts to fade. Think it’s smart to cast a wide net initially and not limit organization to candidates based on experience on a certain side of the ball, but ultimately think that, given amount of young talent on Chargers’ D (Bosa, Verrett, Brown, etc.), it’d be smart to look to maximize that talent with a defensive-minded brain trust.

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