Justin Herbert Will Be Involved in Chargers Search for New OC, GM Tom Telesco Says

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 20, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 14: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of the game in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at TIAA Bank Field on January 14, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert will soon have the third different offensive coordinator of his young career, but this time he will have a say.

According to ESPN's Lindsey Thiry, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said Thursday that Herbert will have input in L.A.'s OC search.

Joe Lombardi, who spent the past two seasons as the Chargers' offensive coordinator, was fired this week following the team's collapse in a 31-30 AFC Wild Card Round playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, which saw Los Angeles blow a 27-point lead.

When the Chargers hired Brandon Staley as head coach ahead of the 2021 season, he brought in Lombardi, who is the grandson of Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.

Lombardi had been the Detroit Lions' offensive coordinator from 2014 to 2015 and then served as the New Orleans Saints' quarterbacks coach from 2016 to 2020.

In Lombardi's first season as Chargers OC, the team ranked fourth in the NFL in total offense and fifth in scoring offense. L.A. missed the playoffs, however, largely because of having the No. 29 scoring defense.

Los Angeles did manage to reach the postseason in 2022, but the offensive stats dipped to the tune of ninth in total offense and 13th in scoring offense.

Herbert also had arguably his worst statistical season. While he completed a career-best 68.2 percent of his passes and threw for 4,739 yards, he threw a career-low 25 touchdown passes and was picked off 10 times.

He also had a career-low quarterback rating of 93.2 and QBR of 58.4, plus his 6.8 yards per attempt were a career low as well.

Herbert is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the NFL, and when everyone is healthy, he has one of the best groups of offensive weapons at his disposal.

Wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missed large chunks of the season because of injury, although they are a dynamite duo when they play. Also, running back Austin Ekeler, tight end Gerald Everett and wideouts Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter are all capable of making big plays consistently.

All of the aforementioned players besides Carter are under contract for next season, meaning the Chargers offense could be a juggernaut if Herbert, Staley and Telesco find the right person to call the plays.