Justin Herbert’s development
One of the reasons that coaches like Daboll or Arthur Smith were favorites for the job when they initially interviewed was Justin Herbert. The belief among many Chargers fans (and NFL analysts/reporters) was that the team needed to go in an offensive direction to continue the development of their star quarterback.
Even when you just look at Tom Telesco’s previous hires, McCoy and Lynn were both offensive minds coaching a veteran Philip Rivers. Injecting the pressure of a young Herbert into this coaching search made it feel like hiring an OC was so certain.
Personally, I felt the narrative of the Chargers “needing” an offensive coordinator as HC to develop Herbert was overstated. Some mention Daboll and Josh Allen as the example of development, but they leave out the fact that Sean McDermott is a defensive-minded head coach himself.
A good offensive coordinator can take care of a lot of problems for a defensive coordinator head coach. Also, it’s worth pointing out that Staley has the experience of playing quarterback. That absolutely had to play a part in why the Chargers felt so comfortable rolling with Staley.
We kept hearing that if a defensive coordinator was to be hired, he’d have to have a detailed plan on the offense with Herbert. Staley surprisingly met those expectations in his interviews.