Anthony Lynn Fired as Chargers HC, Went 33-31 in 4 Seasons with Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn signals from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Monday head coach Anthony Lynn was fired after posting a 7-9 record during the 2020 NFL season.

Chargers owner Dean Spanos issued a statement announcing Lynn's firing:

Lynn became a full-time head coach for the first time when the Chargers hired him in January 2017. He was the Buffalo Bills' interim head coach for the final game of the 2016 season.

The 52-year-old former NFL running back has compiled a 33-31 record in four years leading the Bolts. They reached the playoffs once during his tenure in 2018, beating the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card Round before getting eliminated by the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

L.A.'s performance dropped off over the past two years with back-to-back losing seasons, though.

The Chargers' lack of victories this season was particularly frustrating because rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, the sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft, put his potential on immediate display with an NFL-rookie record 28 touchdown passes and a 98.3 passer rating in 15 appearances.

Having a true franchise QB and a high-end edge-rusher like Los Angeles does in Joey Bosa is typically the foundation for success in the NFL.

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It led to questions during the latter stages of the regular season about whether Lynn's job was in jeopardy.

"Right now, I don't have time to worry about job status," Lynn told reporters after a Week 13 loss to the New England Patriots. "As long as I'm the head coach here, my focus is trying to get this thing back on track and finish the season out the right way."

He added: "I've worked my tail off my whole life to get here. Yeah, I'm having a down year, and I understand people are going to take shots and people are going to be critical. That's to be expected. But we have had some success here, as well. I think I'm the guy to get this back on the right track."

The Chargers ultimately decided to let Lynn go in order to seek a new direction for 2021 and beyond. It's a job that should attract plenty of attention from high-end coaching candidates, with ESPN's Bill Barnwell previously ranking it the best job potentially available in the offseason.

Herbert and Bosa check the two most important boxes for any team, and the Bolts' front office has plenty of cap space to go along with their draft picks to further upgrade the roster around that star duo.

Meanwhile, Lynn should attract interest as an offensive coordinator or assistant given his two decades of experience in the NFL if he doesn't land another head coaching opportunity.