Following the disappointing first-round exit for the Los Angeles Chargers (and the manner in which it happened), it was pretty clear that some degree of change needed to be made. Head coach Brandon Staley survived that, but offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi did not – as well as the quarterbacks coach and the linebackers coach. Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill was not fired, but he later chose to leave anyway to coach under Vic Fangio’s defensive staff with the Miami Dolphins. After all that, the Chargers coaching staff looks pretty different – which will give Staley the opportunity to prove himself with a different backing crew.
Brandon Staley Will Enter 2023 Season With Heavily Revamped Supporting Staff
New Offensive Staff
As is likely well known by now, the Chargers chose to hire Kellen Moore to be their new offensive coordinator. Moore had just parted ways with the Dallas Cowboys the day before, and the Chargers brought him in immediately. While Moore isn’t without question marks, he is at least experienced and has had a top-ten offense three out of four seasons as an offensive coordinator. As such, he was probably the best candidate available on the market. It’s worth noting that his departure from Dallas may have been a scapegoat to cover for Mike McCarthy’s mistakes. The Chargers will be hoping for a more high-scoring, less-vanilla offense with Moore calling the plays.
After canning Shane Day at quarterbacks coach, they were able to nab Doug Nussmeier from the Cowboys as well, who had served in the same position for three years under Moore, thus keeping a little continuity with Moore’s old staff. This was probably the best move if there wasn’t anyone they felt comfortable promoting from within.
Defensive Changes and Promotions
Linebackers coach Michael Wilhoite was the only member of the defensive staff that was outright fired; he was replaced by Jeff Howard, who had been the defensive backs coach with the Cleveland Browns from 2020 to 2022 and the Minnesota Vikings defensive assistant from 2013 to 2019 before that.
As mentioned earlier, Hill departed the team to join the Miami Dolphins. Derrick Ansley, the secondary coach, was promoted to take his place. It’s unclear just how much of a role Hill had as defensive coordinator, given that by most indications, Staley appeared to be in charge of defensive scheming. Regardless, Ansley appears to have been well-liked, and at least one report indicates that the Chargers were looking to promote him and Tom Donatell (who went from assistant secondary coach to full secondary coach/pass game coordinator) anyway – which implies that Hill’s departure may have been a pseudo-firing after all.
Outlook for Brandon Staley and the New Staff Lineup
With the new-look staff, hopes will be high for Brandon Staley to get it right this time. He has to know at this point that his seat is getting warm, and if the 2023 season ends badly again, he will likely be ousted. After a loss like the one the Chargers had in the Wildcard round, they would have been well within their rights to burn down the entire coaching staff and start over. However, they have opted to keep some degree of consistency by keeping the head coach spot intact as well as a couple of other names they liked.
Time will tell if the Chargers’ faith in Staley will be worth it; he is certainly getting a fair shake, at least. And the Chargers also seem to be putting elements in place that can be more easily promoted later if Staley is fired after 2023 (Moore in particular). At any rate, the Chargers organization will be going into the season with high hopes for the new staff lineup.
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