The LA Chargers made the best hire possible this offseason by hiring Jim Harbaugh to be the team's next head coach. Hiring Harbaugh ushers in a new era of Chargers football, which also coincides with new general manager Joe Hortiz.
Most of Harbaugh's supporting cast has been set in stone but there is one notable position that remains vacant: offensive coordinator. Kellen Moore was hired to be the next Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator and now Harbaugh must find his right-hand man for the offense.
Greg Roman was the early favorite but now it looks like he may join the staff in a role smaller than play-caller, which is the perfect scenario for LA. Thanks to Ben Johnson staying in Detroit, the Chargers could also hire someone with Harbaugh ties who could be the next Johnson in LA.
If that was not enough, the Chargers now have another potential offensive coordinator candidate who could be the next great mind. Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik is not leaving for a head coaching job, which opens the door for WRs coach & passing game coordinator Ben McDaniels to take a promotion to offensive coordinator elsewhere.
Ben McDaniels is another great Chargers offensive coordinator candidate
As Schoon alludes to above, McDaniels has ties to Harbaugh as he coached under him at Michigan. McDaniels joined the staff as an offensive analyst in 2018 before serving as the QBs coach in 2019 and 2020. In 2021, he made the leap back to the NFL with the Texans.
Despite only being 43, McDaniels' coaching experience in the NFL and college dates back to 2009 when he was first hired as an offensive assistant for the Denver Broncos. McDaniels' experience since then has spanned across various roles on various teams both in the NFL and in the NCAA.
McDaniels has been the WRs coach and passing game coordinator of the Texans since 2022 and he played a pivotal role in the fast offensive turnaround in Houston. Of course, drafting CJ Stroud certainly helped those efforts but what McDaniels did with the passing offensive and the receivers specifically was fantastic.
Nico Collins' production exploded in 2023 as he had more yards than his previous two seasons combined. Third-round rookie Tank Dell was one of the best rookie receivers in the league, finishing with 709 yards and seven touchdowns in his 11 games played. If he played all 17 at that pace, he would have finished with 72 catches for 1,095 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Dell obviously deserves credit for being talented, but great coaches get the best out of young players and that is what McDaniels did. Perhaps he could help unlock something in Quentin Johnston, or raise Joshua Palmer to an even higher level in 2024.