LA Chargers Week 13 Overreactions: Can a new coach fix everything?

By Tyler Gallagher
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

The Los Angeles Chargers suffered a historically embarrassing defeat to the New England Patriots in Week 13, losing 45-0.

The Los Angeles Chargers reached a new low this week, losing to the New England Patriots 45-0.

With wholesale changes coming to the Chargers soon, let’s consider the impact of the upcoming coaching changes and the development of two of the team’s young players.

Overreaction #1: Coaching changes are all it will take to turn this team around in 2021

Clearly, the 2020 season is lost, and the chances that the Chargers have all-new coaches in 2020 is rising by the minute.

From a football standpoint, it has long been obvious that the Chargers needed a new defensive coordinator and special teams coordinator.

Though Chargers management has typically been slow to replace head coaches, the Chargers are going to be economically forced by their fan base and media to replace Anthony Lynn in 2021, as few fans will want to watch this team continue under Lynn. Given that, the odds that Shane Steichen is also out to allow a new head coach to build his own staff are fairly high.

So, in 2021, it looks like there will be a wholesale coaching change in 2021.

If correct hires are made in all four of these key positions (Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Defensive Coordinator, and Special Teams Coordinator), is it fair to say that the Chargers will turn it around and have a good team in 2021?

To answer that question, let’s think about what problems that can and cannot solve.

First, bringing in new coaches can bring a culture change, which will be critical moving forward. If all goes well, this can improve the dumb mistakes that have plagued the team and improve the effort level of the team that is clearly deteriorating.

Secondly, it has a decent chance of improving the play of the defense and special teams units. The coaching of these two positions has been poor all season, and we can expect some improvement at those positions with a new staff.

Third, a new year can bring many important players back from injuries, such as Derwin James and Drue Tranquill.

But, that brings up the things that will not change just by a coaching change. The Chargers are notorious for having a poor injury history, and that is likely an unfortunate byproduct of selecting players prone to injury.

Also, improved coaching alone will not improve the Chargers’ poor offensive line. Coming into the season, we all thought that the additions of Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga, along with coach James Campen, would fix the offensive line. That has absolutely not happened.

Furthermore, while it should be quite easy to improve the special teams unit from what it is now, some personnel changes will be needed along with a coaching change. The losses of Adrian Philips, Derek Watt, and Nick Dzubnar from the unit are glaring, and the Chargers might have to pay for a special teams ace or two in the offseason.

With their wealth of draft picks and good cap space, the Chargers will have the ability to make these changes in the offseason. But, it will take a good offseason along with wholesale coaching changes to turn this team around.

Verdict #1: Slight overreaction