San Diego Chargers: Examining 5 Potential Head Coaching Candidates
The 2012 season clearly hasn't got the way the San Diego Chargers expected it would.
The Chargers sit at 4-8 and have lost any possibility of a postseason berth. Part of their dismal season is a 2-4 record at home.
Philip Rivers have struggled, and the team is ranked 26th in the league in rushing offense as well as 26th in total offense.
So what does that all mean?
Head coach Norv Turner may have been on the proverbial hot seat coming into the season, but it's safe to say that the seat is now boiling. It is hard to imagine Turner on the Chargers sideline next season.
Currently, Turner holds a 53-39 record as head coach of the Chargers, which includes a 3-3 record in the postseason. What may be most troubling, however, is that they have lost 15 of their last 23 games, dating back to October 2011.
So if the Chargers and Turner do part ways, who are some of the men who could replace him? Here's a look at five possibilities.
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Current Position: Defensive Coordinator, New York Giants
Perry Fewell has an NFL career that dates back to 1998, and he has turned into one of the better defensive minds in the league.
He has served as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants for the past three seasons, where he earned a Super Bowl ring.
Fewell does have some brief head coaching experience, handling the duties in Buffalo on an interim basis in 2009 after the team dismissed Dick Jauron. Fewell went 3-4 and was not retained the following year.
Fewell has interviewed for head coaching jobs in the past, and he has become respected across the league. If the Chargers want a defensive-minded coach, this may be their guy.
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Current Position: Offensive Coordinator, Washington Redskins
Kyle Shanahan is probably a bit of a long shot, but he is going to get some looks based on what Robert Griffin III has been able to do in Washington this year.
He's only 32 years old, so prospective general managers may want to see him get some more experience under his belt, but he's undoubtedly learned plenty from his father, who has been a head coach in the NFL for 19 seasons.
If the Chargers were to go this route, they would probably change up their offensive philosophy to fit what the Shanahans like to do, and it would be interesting to see how Rivers would respond to that, whether it be for better or for worse.
Shanahan could be a hot prospect when the coaching carousel starts moving, and whether he's hired for the 2013 season, he will be an NFL head coach at some point.
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Current Position: Defensive Coordinator, Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Zimmer would be an interesting choice for head coach, but he would be a good choice.
He has served as defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals since the 2008 season and always has the Bengals playing well on the defensive side of the ball. This year, he has the Bengals, a team looking to make a playoff push, ranked 8th in total defense.
In 2009, he was named assistant head coach of the year by Pro Football Weekly.
Zimmer interviewed for vacant head coaching positions prior to the start of this season, but he wasn't hired, maybe surprisingly so. He has what it takes to be a head coach, and if the Chargers do in fact have an opening, it wouldn't hurt to strongly consider this guy.
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Current Position: Head Coach, Philadelphia Eagles
The fact that the Philadelphia Phillies have won a game more recently than the Philadelphia Eagles tells you just how bad of a year it has been for Andy Reid.
The handwriting appears to be on the wall and he won't be back next season.
So why would the Chargers want to bring in a guy who is just 11-17 in the last two seasons?
Let's remember to lay out Reid's entire resume. Yes, it has been a rough couple of years in Philadelphia, but this is a guy who has had to deal with players like Terrell Owens and quarterback controversies from Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb to McNabb or Michael Vick to Kolb or Vick to Vick or Nick Foles? On top of that, there was the terribly unfortunate, untimely death of his son Garrett prior to the start of this season.
Reid is the longest tenured coach in the league, and that hasn't happened by accident. This, his 14th year in Philly, will be just his third losing season. In that time, he has won 129 games and made appearances in five NFC championship games and one Super Bowl.
Reid has had a rough year, but he's had a very good head coaching career. It wouldn't hurt for San Diego to take that all into account and give it some consideration.
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Current Position: Head Coach, University of Oregon
The NFL is definitely going to come calling to current head coach of the Oregon Ducks, Chip Kelly, probably with a very lucrative offer.
Pete Carroll and Greg Schiano have both had recent, early success coming from the college game over to the pros, and there may not be anyone better equipped to do that than the Ducks' Kelly.
San Diego is much closer geographically to where he is now than Tampa Bay was, and that could definitely be a factor in why he said no to that position.
In four seasons at Oregon, he has amassed a very impressive 45-7 record, and if Turner is gone, it would make a lot of sense for the Chargers to gauge Kelly's interest.