The Los Angeles Chargers have completed their first round of interviews to find their next offensive coordinator. Head coach Brandon Staley has said a few things on the matter of the next Chargers offensive coordinator.
“Just felt like we needed to make changes to the offense and the vision I have on that side of the ball,” Staley said, “I think there’s a different gear we need to get to as a football team..”
He went on to describe what ‘gear’ he wants to get to as, “..particularly at the line of scrimmage, in the run game, and having a marriage of the run and the pass, creating more explosions on early downs, and I think there’s just a style of play that’s still out there for us..”
Outside of scheme-specifics he also described a type he wanted in the locker room, saying, “…I think you’re looking for leadership, number one. You’re looking for someone that can really connect a group and get them to play a certain type of way, and I think that’s where it starts.
Choose the Next Chargers Offensive Coordinator!
Zac Robinson – Rams Pass Game Coordinator/ QB Coach
Zac Robinson was the Chargers first known candidate they interviewed with. This obviously bodes well for his chances.
Robinson played quarterback in Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State explosive offense.
He started as the Rams assistant quarterbacks coach in 2019 and has worked his way up to pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach this last season. This is essentially the same position that was held by Matt LaFleur, Shane Waldron, Zac Taylor, and Kevin O’Connell
Robinson has no experience as an OC and hasn’t called plays.
Staley got a close-up look at Robinson in his year with the Rams. Something obviously made him take note.
Thomas Brown – Offensive Assistant Coach/ Tight Ends Coach
It seems as if Thomas Brown has had a meteoric rise since joining the Rams coaching staff in 2020. But in reality, he has been in the coaching racket for 12 seasons. From 2011 till 2019 he bounced around the college ranks as a running backs coach. He started at Chattanooga and worked his way into working at several schools in the Power 5 conferences.
Many of his the Rams players he coaches sing his praises as an intuitive leader, an ego-less human, and a fearless truth-teller.
With the Rams running game, he seemed to do the impossible. Twice.
In 2021, the Rams lost their lead back, Cam Akers, to an Achilles injury. Yet, he was able to cobble together enough rushing ability to win the Super Bowl.
This season after Brown took on a larger part of the running back responsibilities the rushing attack vastly improved. In the last two months of the season the Rams rushing EPA/play was 5th best in the league. the rest of the year they were 28th.
In terms of leadership and connection with players, Brown is far and away the best pick.
Greg Olson – Rams Senior Offensive Assistant
Most recently he was the offensive coordinator for the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders. He served as OC from 2018-2021. In his tenure there his offenses ranked 19th by EPA/play with his peak season coming in ranked 10th.
Was a part of the staff that drafted Josh Jacobs and found Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round, but also whiffed on Alex Leatherwood in the first round.
Staley and the Chargers seem to have a thing for coaches from McVay’s Rams staff. Three of the five interviewees coached for him.
Olson has by far the most experience of the coaches interviewed by the Chargers so far. He has 14 seasons as an offensive coordinator under his belt. But has not had a lot of success in those seasons.
Although he was OC at various locations he was often able to elevate the quarterback’s play. That is something the Chargers would love to see with Justin Herbert. Herbert would be by far his best quarterback.
Jerrod Johnson – Vikings Assistant QB Coach
Jerrod Johnson has ties to the McVay offense as well. He served under former Rams quarterback coach Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota last season. He was the Vikings assistant quarterbacks coach. He also worked for Frank Reich in Indianapolis as an offensive quality control coach.
Apart from some ties to interesting coaches, Johnson doesn’t seem to have the bona-fides to get the job. But he would certainly be a name to watch for the near future.
Luke Steckel – Titans Tight Ends Coach
Steckel was another surprising name to find on the list of interviewees. He has been climbing the rungs of the coaching ladder proving himself in Tennessee.
He has survived a coaching change while with the Titans, which is always a good sign. He also spent time working with Matt LaFleur and Arthur Smith when they were Titans OCs. And most recently worked with the now-fired OC, Todd Downing. Steckle is currently in the role that both Arthur Smith and Downing were in before being promoted to offensive coordinator.