With the Chargers stumbling towards a best-scenario 8-8 this season, just months after being removed from the AFC Championship Game, pressure will be on GM A.J. Smith to shake up a coaching staff that has done an awful job calling plays, motivating players and making decisions on the field.
Who are the best candidates suited to take over the reins of the franchise next season? The following men are surely on A.J.'s (and any other NFL GM searching for a new coach) radar.
His tenure in Baltimore gave the Ravens their first Super Bowl, after Billick's dominant defense crushed the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. A proven winner and motivator, he definitely has the pedigree to take the Chargers over.
The man surely to be at the top of every vacant seat's wish list probably requires two things to be properly seduced:
- Loads of cash
- A team on the cusp of something
The Chargers definitely fit the bill on both accounts. Weather isn't bad, either.
If you decide to make this man a pitch, leave the weather bit out of it. Denny is no stranger to Southern California sunshine, as he currently serves as a professor at San Diego State University.
His resume also includes stints at Minnesota, where he led a talented 15-1 team to the NFC Championship Game nearly a decade ago.
For a while now, teams have raided New England's coaching staff to fill their own vacancies with mixed results.
The latest in a carousel of talented assistants, McDaniels has done a fantastic job with the Patriots' offense, despite the fact this his superstar QB, Tom Brady, has been out since the first week.
His philosophy would most likely trump current coach Norv Turner's approach of "run-run-pass-punt."
Sure, he might be getting a little on in years, and his head coaching experience is zero, but for 10 years now, Moore has been running one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history.
The Colts' coordinator has benefited from a super starring cast that would be all but duplicated in San Diego and their All-Pro personnel.
In his short time as defensive coordinator for the Chargers, Rivera has shored up the defense and placed much more pressure on the QB than his predecessor, Ted Cottrell.
A huge bonus in his favor is the fact that he's been around the team long enough to get to know them already.
USC's successful head coach has been at the top of NFL lists for years now. His proximity to San Diego would indicate a natural progression for him, and the fact that he has yet to achieve greatness as a pro coach would pose a new challenge for him.
Marty Schottenheimer —
He guided the Chargers for five years and two playoff runs. Despite never winning in the postseason, his return has been clamored for by several fans. Marty says he has no interest in coaching, but does that mean he would never come back?