Hot on the heels of the monumental Thursday morning announcement of the team formerly known as the San Diego Chargers moving up the I-5 to Los Angeles, a new head coach was announced to spearhead the new Los Angeles Chargers.
On Friday, the now Los Angeles Chargers officially announced former Buffalo Bills’ interim head coach Anthony Lynn as their successor to Mike McCoy. Lynn was a running back in the NFL for six seasons from 1993-1999. He was initially signed as an undrafted free agent running back by the Denver Broncos. He played a season in San Francisco (1995-’96) before finishing his career in Denver from 1997 to 1999. Lynn has two Super Bowl rings as part of the John Elway-led team that won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.
Since retiring from playing the game in 2000, Lynn has worked his way up the coaching ranks. After two seasons in Denver as a special teams coach, he was brought in as a running backs coach for Jacksonville, Dallas, Cleveland and New York Jets before landing in Buffalo in 2015. Lynn served as running backs coach until week three of the 2016 season. Bills OC Greg Roman was fired after week two and Lynn was promoted to offensive coordinator. He was the week 17 interim head coach after Rex Ryan was fired in week 16.
Lynn is a low-profile, safe choice for the Chargers. Not much will be expected of him or the team given their recent history. The Chargers have finished in the cellar the last two seasons, only winning a combined nine games. They made the playoffs once in the four years of the Mike McCoy era.
Despite the fact he has no head coaching experience at any level of football, he is expected to keep Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator and various media outlets are reporting he wants to hire former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley to replace John Pagano as defensive coordinator. If the Bradley hire happens, that places two experienced head coaches to accelerate his learning curve.
Lynn becomes the first minority head coach in the history of the Chargers franchise. He is widely respected around the league as a running game mastermind. From 2009-13 his Jets led the league in rushing. Each season in Buffalo, the Bills have led the NFL in rushing. If he can do that with a past his prime veteran like LeSean McCoy, imagine what he will be able to do with a young, budding superstar like Melvin Gordon.
Lynn inherits a roster with many budding stars yet to hit their prime and if they can stay healthy, could make the playoffs as soon as next season. So far, the Chargers have led the league in players sent to injured reserve over the past few seasons. Staying healthy and offensive line stability has been their biggest downfall.
All things considered, there is no place to go but up for Lynn and the Chargers. The stadium drama is over and players now know in which city their future lies. That has to be good for something. Now everyone can focus on getting healthy and just playing football, which may be exactly what this team needs.
What do you think? Good signing? Bad signing? Too soon to care? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
The Greg One
Follow me on Twitter @LordOfTheGregs
We have seen it fairly often, Jahleel Addae streaking towards his man. We’ve seen that result end up with Addae being out because he concussed himself making the hit.
Sunday, we all watched as Addae ran towards Jacksonville’s Denard Robinson late in the game and tackled him. I know many people thought Addae had used his helmet to hit Robinson; especially as both Robinson and “Hitman” remained on the ground after the two players collided. I did see that it was his shoulder Addae had employed to initiate the contact and just knew as he was helped to his feet that HE wasn’t going to come back any time soon.
Lo and behold, word came that the Chargers’ starting safety had broken his collarbone. Anticipation is that he will be out 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery today to fix the injury.
So who steps in to fill the void left by his absence?
The team will most likely look to rookie Dexter McCoil and Adrian Phillips to pick up the reps during practice. The team heads to a meet-up against the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday, so naming a starter quickly is paramount.
At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, McCoil may get the call. As part of the Edmonton Eskimos from 2014-2015, McCoil was named Most Outstanding Rookie (2014) after amassing 67 tackles, four sacks and six interceptions, of which three were returned for touchdowns.
McCoil signed with the Chargers in January and quickly proved throughout OTAs and minicamp that he was more than capable of playing at the NFL level. In the first two weeks of the 2016 regular season, he has already made four tackles, adding a defended pass.
He may be considered a rookie but I anticipate that his experience and size give him the nod to fill in until Addae returns to the lineup.
The next option is Adrian Phillips, who has been with the Bolts since 2014, albeit primarily on the practice squad. At 5-foot-10, Phillips is similar in size to Addae though a bit heavier (210 to 195). The former Texas Longhorn has participated in 12 games (two starts) and collected 12 tackles, an interception and defended one pass.
Will Phillips’ endeavors get him the starting job? We’ll know sooner rather than later.
The defense played pretty darn well Sunday afternoon. The secondary looked great. I’m hoping it is easier to plug the gap that Addae’s absence creates than in the past.
McCoy and Pagano will have a tough decision to make and I don’t envy them.
We’ll all be watching and waiting for the announcement.
Thanks for reading!