Why the Chargers should hire Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly

3 of 4
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

He knows how to develop quality offensive linemen

One of the things going for Kelly at Notre Dame is his history with offensive linemen. You could take five former Notre Dame offensive linemen that are currently starting in the NFL off of their respective teams and create the best offensive line in the league.

Starting from left to right: Ronnie Stanley(BAL), Quenton Nelson(IND), Nick Martin(HOU), Zack Martin(DAL) and Mike McGlinchey(SF).

He has been churning out NFL offensive linemen basically ever since he took over at Notre Dame. It stems from his belief that games are truly won in the trenches. He might even have his best unit this year.

Every time he is asked what separates his current 9-0 team from his past teams, he always brings up the offensive line first. Liam Eichenberg is their current starting left tackle and hasn’t allowed a single sack since 2018.

NOT A SINGLE SACK IN TWO YEARS. Can you imagine? No, you cannot, because you are a Chargers fan. And that’s the sad reality. The Chargers haven’t put enough emphasis on the position group ever since Nick Hardwick, Marcus McNeil and Kris Dielman were around. A lot of that falls on the general manager, but arguably more of it falls on the coaching.

The Chargers would be in a much different place right now if Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, DJ Fluker, Trey Pipkins, Sam Tevi, Chris Watt, etc. would have developed like they would have hoped when they drafted them.

Currently, the Chargers rank at the bottom of the league in nearly every metric regarding offensive line play. According to ESPN, they are dead last in the league in Pass Block Win Rate and second to last in run block win rate.

According to Pro Football Focus, they are 26th in the league pass-blocking efficiency. PFF grades are not everything, especially about offensive line play, but the Chargers don’t even have a single offensive lineman (minimum 50% of snaps) within their top 100. You have to go all the way down to 132 to find Sam Tevi, the team’s highest-graded offensive linemen.

However you shake it, the Chargers offensive line play is simply not good enough. Telesco’s approach of signing older, stopgap players does not help but the Chargers haven’t developed a quality offensive lineman of their own in over 10 years. Kelly’s reputation with offensive linemen should carry a lot of weight if he is given the chance to interview.