The Los Angeles Chargers have fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, according to multiple reports. The Chargers’ offense went cold in the second half of Saturday’s embarrassing postseason defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who managed a historic second-half comeback after trailing by four scores. Lombardi never managed to maximize Justin Herbert’s talent.
The Chargers’ offense averaged a disappointing 23.0 points per contest. They finished the regular season as the league’s 13th-ranked scoring offense. Lombardi failed to field a high-scoring offense despite possessing a wealth of offensive resources at his disposal.
The Chargers also fired passing game coordinator Shane Day. All these changes indicate that head coach Brandon Staley will return. Staley will now lead a search for his next offensive coordinator. The job will be highly sought after as candidates position to work alongside Herbert. We’ve identified three potential targets.
MATT NAGY, CHIEFS QB COACH
Nagy has spent the 2022 campaign rehabilitating his coaching reputation as the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach and senior offensive assistant. Nagy re-joined Andy Reid’s staff after a four-year stint (2018-21) as the Chicago Bears’ head coach. Patrick Mahomes is a big fan of Nagy’s coaching style. Nagy is awfully familiar with the AFC West’s landscape.
Staley and Nagy spent a year together in Chicago. Staley served as the Bears’ outside linebackers coach during Nagy’s first season as the Bears’ head coach (2018). Staley was a holdover from the previous staff, but that familiarity makes Nagy an intriguing candidate.
Nagy is back on the offensive coordinator radar. The Tennessee Titans recently submitted a request to interview Nagy for their own offensive coordinator vacancy. It’s unclear whether or not Nagy plans to interview in Tennessee. He should possess an interest in coaching Herbert in L.A.
THOMAS BROWN, RAMS ASSISTANT HC
Rams assistant head coach and tight ends coach Thomas Brown is one of the league’s most impressive young candidates. The 36-year-old Brown has received head coaching interest despite never coordinating an offense of his own. Staley spent one season alongside Brown in Los Angeles (2020) as Sean McVay’s defensive coordinator.
McVay previously allowed his assistants to explore other opportunities while mulling his own future. It’s unclear whether or not the offer still stands after McVay decided to return to the Rams for the 2023 campaign. Brown should immediately appear on Staley’s radar. Coordinating the Chargers’ offense could serve as the final springboard Brown requires to land a head coaching job of his own.
CURTIS MODKINS, VIKINGS RUN GAME COORDINATOR
Staley is expected to hire an offensive coordinator he’s familiar with. Vikings run game coordinator and running backs coach Curtis Modkins checks a lot of boxes. Modkins worked alongside Staley in both Chicago and Denver.
Modkins possesses previous experience as an offensive coordinator (Buffalo, 2010-12, San Francisco, 2016). Modkins currently works for Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota. O’Connell and Staley worked together in Los Angeles during the 2020 season. There’s a ton of familiarity here. Modkins could interview in Los Angeles immediately given that the Vikings have already been eliminated from the postseason.
Other candidates could include former Kentucky offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, ex-Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich. and current Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach Charles London. Staley and Scangarello worked together in Denver. London spent a year with Staley in Chicago. Reich would bring much-needed experience and stability.