Quick Bit: The Chargers parted ways with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day after their playoff meltdown against the Jaguars.
It was safe to assume there would be some major changes for the Chargers after their epic playoff meltdown against the Jaguars.
Someone would be held responsible.
Now, we’re starting to see those happen.
The organization parted ways with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day on Tuesday, signaling a major shakeup of the team’s offensive staff.
On Wednesday, head coach Brandon Staley spoke to the media and provided some explanation for the moves.
Why Chargers fired OC Joe Lombardi, QB coach Shane Day
“I 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. Definitely not an easy decision because they did a really quality job for two years, but I think we can make improvements on that side of the football, and that’s what we’re going to have our focus be moving forward.”
The Chargers surged to a commanding 27-0 lead in the first half of Saturday’s wild-card tilt in Jacksonville. Then, they fell apart on both sides of the ball.
Los Angeles’ offense mustered just 3 points in the second half, while the defense was powerless to stop Trevor Lawrence and Co. down the stretch. Riley Patterson’s walk-off field goal as time expired gave the Jags a miraculous 31-30 win and sent them on to the divisional round. It was the 3rd largest comeback in NFL playoff history.
“I think there’s just a different level that we need to play at, offensively, particularly at the line of scrimmage, in the run game, and having the 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,” Staley said.
The Chargers’ offense ranked 9th in the NFL this season in average yards per game (359.3) and 13th in average points per game (23.0). That’s despite top receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both missing significant time through injury.
“I think we made improvements each season towards heading where I think we can ultimately go as a football team, and again, these aren’t easy decisions, but I think you’re not trying to stay at a certain place, you’re always trying to take your game to another level,” Staley said. “I think we played really quality football for two years, but in terms of us being able to compete for Super Bowls and ultimately be as good as we can be, I think there’s another gear we can get to.”
Lombardi had served as the team’s offensive coordinator for the past two seasons. He and Staley have a relationship that goes all the way back to 2005, when Staley was a quarterback and Lombardi was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Mercyhurst College in Erie, Penn.
Day had also served in his role as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the Chargers for the past two years.
“We definitely improved as a franchise this season. We took a step, as a franchise. We earned ourselves a spot on the tournament. I’m as frustrated as anybody that’s a Chargers fan over what happened, because there’s no one that is investing as much as we are in what happened,” Staley said.
“The first half of that football game, I think you saw the very best of our team. Then, in the second half, we saw the places that we need to improve. Since I’ve been the head coach — I’ve been the head coach for 25 games, 25 — and that is the first time that a lead like that has happened. We’re the team, over two years, that has come back. We’re the ones that have made the comebacks.
Staley and the entire Chargers organization will now look to put the brutal collapse in Jacksonville behind them and keep building for the future.
What Brandon Staley will look for in Chargers’ new offensive coordinator, QB coach
The Chargers vacancy will be one of the most appealing jobs (if not THE most appealing) coordinator opening. The ability to coach (and mold) a rising star in Justin Herbert to a playoff-caliber team.
So, what will Staley look for?
“I think you’re looking for leadership, number one,” Staley said. “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. And that comes from young guys, it comes from medium guys, older guys, it doesn’t matter but it really starts with leadership, and I think bringing out the solid play that we want to have as a football team, because it’s about a football team in all tree phases playing a certain style, and that’s what I’m really after, from leading a group and connecting it.
“And then in terms of what that looks like, I think the offenses that I think are the most challenging to defend are the ones that put a lot of pressure on you every snap, in terms of marrying the run game to the pass game, putting a lot of pressure on you in terms of personnel, pace, emotion, and being able to get the explosions consistently, and that’s what I believe in. I want to get an offense that mirrors our defense, because I think those are the types of organizations who are consistent, game in and game out, and we’re going to start that process here shortly.”
The Chargers will look for answers despite an early (and disappointing) exit in the postseason. But their collapse in Jacksonville won’t be the only thing Staley remembers, despite it being fresh on the brain.
“I was really proud of the season we had, especially with all the challenges we were having throughout,” he said. “I felt like the way we finished the season said a lot about the guys we had in the locker room.”
Originally found on Sporting News Read More