(CBSLA)- The Chargers are searching for a new head coach after announcing the firing of Anthony Lynn on Monday of this week. Since the news of Lynn’s departure, candidates for the opening have begun to emerge. With about $31 million in cap space, stars like Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, Derwin James and a rookie QB coming off one of the best rookie seasons we’ve seen, the job appears to be an attractive one.
The Chargers have a 22-year old QB who just set the rookie record for passing TD and 2nd most passing yards ever.
The roster has blue chip pieces on both sides of the ball via a strong GM and a healthy cap situation going forward.
That's a very attractive HC job.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 4, 2021
With that in mind, the organization is likely to have a solid list of candidates to choose from. Here are the names they have reportedly requested to interview to this point along with the resume of each candidate.
Tennessee Titans OC Arthur Smith
The 38-year-old Smith just might be the hottest name in NFL coaching circles this offseason along with Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday that all six teams that have head coaching vacancies have requested permission to interview Smith for their jobs, including the Chargers.
All six teams with HC openings – Chargers, Jets, Jaguars, Lions, Falcons, Texans – have either requested permission to interview Titans’ OC Arthur Smith or plan to ask permission, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 4, 2021
Smith has risen to prominence in the last two seasons since taking over the offensive coordinator duties for the Titans after the departure of former OC Matt LaFleur to Green Bay. In that time, the Titans offense has ranked in the Top 12 in nearly every offensive statistical category. This season, the team has been even better ranking in the Top 5 in most.
He has also helped Ryan Tannehill have the two best seasons of his career since Tannehill took over as a starter for the team last season. Smith has been with the Titans in various roles since 2011 originally starting as a defensive quality control coach with the team.
Buffalo Bills OC Brian Daboll
Staying on the offensive side of the ball, the team has also reportedly requested permission to interview Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 5, 2021
The 45-year-old has had the reins of the offense in Buffalo for the last three seasons and the Bills have seen improvement in their stats in each of those years. Of particular note is the work that Daboll has done with quarterback Josh Allen who has progressed from a decent rookie season into a potential MVP this year.
Prior to his time in Buffalo, Daboll spent one season as an offensive coordinator with the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2017, and before that spent time in the Patriots, Chiefs, Dolphins, Browns and Jets organizations in various roles.
New York Giants OC Jason Garrett
The only candidate that has been connected with the job so far who has previously been a head coach is Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 5, 2021
The Giants offense struggled this season, ranking 31st in yards and 31st in points. But, Garrett’s candidacy is more likely due to his previous experience as the head coach of the Cowboys, where he compiled an 85-67 record over 10 seasons. In those 10 years, he produced just one losing season (4-12 in 2015) but was more known for hovering around .500 as he went 8-8 or 9-7 in five of the other nine years. He led the Cowboys to the playoffs three times (2014, 2016, 2018) but never advanced past the divisional round.
San Francisco 49ers DC Robert Saleh
On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers have requested interviews with two candidates. The first, is just up north in the state, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
Chargers requested permission to interview 49ers' DC Robert Saleh, who interviewed last night with the Falcons, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2021
The 41-year-old Saleh has guided the ‘Niners defense for the last four seasons, building them into one of the league’s better units while working on Kyle Shanahan’s staff. Saleh would have plenty to work with on the defensive side of the ball if he were to get the Chargers job. The question would then be who does he hire on the offensive side to shepherd Herbert’s development.
Prior to his time with the ‘Niners, Saleh was a linebackers coach under now former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in Jacksonville.
Indianapolis Colts DC Matt Eberflus
The other defensive coordinator name that has been mentioned in connection with the job is the 50-year-old Eberflus who has been at the helm of the Indy defense for the last three seasons.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 4, 2021
In that time, the Colts have ranked in the Top 10 twice in scoring defense and have been in the Top 10 in takeaways in each of those seasons. Those would be particularly welcome changes for a Chargers unit that has struggled in both of those areas in each of the last two years. Granted, some of those struggles can be attributed to injuries that caused many of the star players to miss time.
Like Saleh, Eberflus was a linebackers coach prior to becoming defensive coordinator. He spent seven seasons on Jason Garrett’s staff in Dallas from 2011-17.