Head Coach Candidates Provide New Focus

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Nov 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith walks on the field before facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith walks on the field before facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Since announcing the firing of Mike McCoy the San Diego Chargers have announced six potential candidates to fill the role of head coach. While only one of those revealed to be interviewed possesses NFL head coaching experience they all share one thing in common. None are focused on the offense.

Those expected to compete for the opening include:

Mike Smith – Buccaneers Defensive Coordinator

Sean McDermott – Panthers Defensive Coordinator

Teryl Austin – Lions Defensive Coordinator

Vance Joseph – Dolphins Defensive Coordinator

Matt Patricia – Patriots Defensive Coordinator

Dave Toub – Chiefs Special Teams Coordinator

After ten seasons between Norv Turner and McCoy the franchise appears to be leaning toward a coach with a more defensive minded approach. The purpose could be two fold.

The first being that the Chargers young defense is in need of continued development and a head coach more familiar with that side of the football would be beneficial. Likewise, the franchise could be hoping that quarterback Philip Rivers returns, despite a move from San Diego, and keeping offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and his system in place provides some stability.


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Of the potential candidates only Smith has previous NFL head coaching experience leading the Atlanta Falcons from 2008-2014. During his tenure he posted a 67-50 record with four trips to the playoffs and one NFC championship game appearance.

Along with players and fans those being interviewed obviously want to know where they would be coaching in 2017. As the league imposed deadline of January 15 approaches for the Chargers to join the Rams in Los Angeles, that decision has to be close to being announced.

A new start with a new direction can be concluded from the list of possible hires but will it be in a new city?

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