At least one coach will be held accountable for the San Diego Chargers' disappointing 4-12 season.
According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the team fired offensive coordinator Frank Reich on Monday.
The team also announced the firings of multiple other assistants: offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris, tight ends coach Pete Metzelaars, wide receivers coach Fred Graves, defensive line coach Don Johnson and assistant offensive line coach Andrew Dees.
San Diego promoted Reich to offensive coordinator in 2014 after Ken Whisenhunt left to coach the Tennessee Titans. In 2013, the Chargers finished fifth in total offense and 12th in scoring under Whisenhunt. They struggled in Reich's first season and made marginal improvement in his second:
|San Diego Chargers Offense Under Frank Reich|
|Season||Total Offense||Passing Offense||Rushing Offense||Scoring|
|2014||341.6 YPG (18th)||256.1 YPG (10th)||85.4 YPG (30th)||21.8 PPG (17th)|
|2015||371.8 YPG (9th)||286.9 YPG (4th)||84.9 YPG (31st)||20.0 PPG (26th)|
In Reich's defense, San Diego suffered a number of injuries along the offensive line, not to mention the fact that Nick Hardwick's retirement in February 2015 left a big hole at center. Melvin Gordon was also a disappointment in his first season, which made the task of improving the running game all but impossible.
The San Diego Union-Tribune's Nick Canepa believes Reich wasn't the root cause of the team's issues on offense:
Nick Canepa @sdutCanepa
This is Mike McCoy's offense. So they fire the O coordinator, Frank Reich, who did a lousy job of blocking and healing.2016-1-4 20:43:41
Reich will likely land on his feet, though. He interviewed for the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets' head coaching vacancies last winter and was a candidate for Maryland's opening before the Terrapins opted for D.J. Durkin.
The Chargers, meanwhile, may already be zeroing in on a replacement for Reich. Head coach Mike McCoy didn't confirm the team would approach Whisenhunt, but he didn't deny it, either.
"We'll do what's best for the football team," McCoy said, per Derek Togerson of NBC 7 in San Diego.
Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported the Chargers "were holding out some hope" of getting Whisenhunt to return.