Chargers all but confirm Kellen Moore’s fate amid head coaching search

Is the writing on the wall for Moore?
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Kellen Moore's had a weird coaching career. Since joining the Cowboys as a QB coach before the 2018 season, his name has been widely circulated as one of the premier up-and-coming head coaching candidates around the league. Then, when he was promoted to Dallas' offensive coordinator one year later, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before he took over for Mike McCarthy. That, uh, never happened, and Moore was fired -- for wanting to "light up the scoreboard, according to McCarthy -- after four seasons in Dallas. He quickly landed on his feet in Los Angeles, where people thought he could finally get Justin Herber and the Chargers to the next level. That, uh, also didn't happen, and now Moore's status in LA is equally up-in-the air. Or so you'd think.

It'd make sense, given how the Chargers are operating, that Moore would be given an opportunity to look for a new gig. After firing Brandon Staley in the middle of the season, the team has been openly pursuing, among others, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. They've interviewed plenty of other candidates as well – both Lions coordinators, ex-Stanford HC David Shaw, and ex-Titans HC Mike Vrabel are a few of the many names they've brought in for the first round – but Harbaugh has long remained the rumored top target, according to some plugged-in NFL reporters. And on Monday, news broke that they are bringing him in for a second interview this week:

With all that in mind, it'd make sense that the Chargers would let Moore explore his options, right? Apparently not! According to ESPN's NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler, LA blocked Moore from taking an interview to be the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator:

On paper, it looks like a puzzling – albeit not unheard of – decision by the Chargers front office. More often than not, new coaches are allowed to bring in a whole new staff, and guys from the previous organization are allowed to seek out new roles on new teams. Blocking the move indicates that the Chargers are 1. committed to keeping Moore as an option to be their next HC, which would be somewhat surprising (and telling) for a number of reasons, or 2. are so bullish on Moore's potential that they're keeping him in his role regardless of who he'll end up reporting to. They could also be waiting for whoever they hire to make a decision on Moore, but it sure seems like he's going to be on the Chargers' sidelines again next season.

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Falcons no longer seem like a Jim Harbaugh threat to Chargers after latest update. Falcons no longer seem like a Jim Harbaugh threat to Chargers after latest update. dark. Next