Replacing Jason Michael was always going to be a tall order for Mike McCoy and the Chargers after Ken Whisenhunt hired away the former tight ends coach last week. The loss of Michael, who became the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans on January 17th, and former offensive coordinator Whisenhunt could be a big blow to an offense that blossomed in 2013. However, the Chargers have done an excellent job filling in the holes left behind. Frank Reich was promoted from quarterback coach to offensive coordinator to keep things fluid for Rivers and the rest of the offense. Now, the Chargers have reunited Reich with a man he used to throw passes to in Buffalo, Pete Metzelaars.
Metzelaars will be the tight ends coach for San Diego in 2014. After a 16-year playing career at tight end that included 3,686 yards, Metzelaars has an interesting resume. He coached an offensive line in Indianpolis that excelled at protecting Peyton Manning before the Jim Caldwell era ended. In 2012, he became the tight ends coach for Buffalo and helped Scott Chandler develop into a threat at tight end. Under Metzelaars, Chandler saw his receiving yards jump to 571 yards (up from 389 in 2011). The importance of getting an experienced tight ends coach was vital in order to continue the development of Ladarius Green. Metzelaars will have to help balance the reps between Antonio Gates and Green as well as improving Green’s blocking technique.
I really like the hire and think Metzelaars and Reich will work very well together. We will see Reich develop as a coordinator and get a chance to watch the wrinkles he will put into the offense. He has talked about his preference for the up-tempo, no-huddle offense, but will ultimately look to keep the fifth rated offense in 2013 near the top of the NFL.
In today’s Monday Mock, we look at the defensive tackles that could replace Cam Thomas.