The LA Chargers lost in ugly fashion to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7 and it shined a spotlight directly on Brandon Staley and the coaching staff. While the team has a 4-3 record, the Bolts could easily be 2-5 if Cade York makes his game-winning field goal and the Broncos don't muff a punt in overtime.
The Chargers are yet to have a definitive win that is more than one possession this season and the team already has two ugly losses to Jacksonville and Seattle. Granted, the roster is banged up and the talent as a whole may just be mediocre, but there is no denying that the coaching needs to be better.
After all, the Chargers have the worst point differential of any team above .500 which is also the sixth-worst in the league. That is an indication that the 4-3 record is not a perfect representation of the team that is it.
Many fans are calling for Brandon Staley to be fired as a result of this disappointment and while that particular move does not make sense right now, there are coaching changes that the team can make during the bye week in order to spark something this season.
The coaching changes that the LA Chargers could make during the bye week:
Our friends over at the Guilty As Charged Podcast broke down these potential coaching changes that the team could make during the bye, sparking the inspiration for this article. One coaching change would grant many fans their only wish, while the other may not seem like it would make an impact but it could.
Let's break down these moves, shall we? Let's bury the lead a bit and first talk about Renaldo Hill and the defense.
1. Renaldo Hill takes over defensive play-calling duties for Brandon Staley
Rarely do we see defensive head coaches call the plays on defense and have success as a head coach. It is one thing for an offensive mastermind to call plays on offense and it is another for a defensive-minded head coach to lead the ship on that side of the ball.
Brandon Staley is a first-time head coach and they trusted him to be able to not only manage his team but call plays on defense as well. The defense has had underwhelming results despite the talent on that side of the ball and at times, quite frankly, has lacked creativity.
With the entire operation not being very smooth this season, it is probably time for Staley to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture as a head coach, allowing his defensive coordinator to do what defensive coordinators do. It won't change the philosophy of the defense but we could see different calls in different spots as well as a juiced defense.
Staley might especially do this if the Chargers make the other coaching change that they could make, and as Schoon said, could spin it as him focusing on helping an underperforming offense.
2. Fire Joe Lombardi, elevate Shane Day
Chargers fans have wanted Joe Lombardi fired since last season and there definitely are tangible reasons why. Justin Herbert is not uncorking the ball as much as fans were hoping for and the route combinations have not been the most inspiring.
Changing the play-caller midseason is not going to completely change what this team does on offense. They are still going to have similar offensive tendencies and philosophies. Herbert isn't going to suddenly turn into a gunslinger if they fire Lombardi and elevate Day, who will run a similar system.
The team will also still be dealing with the same injuries, which has really hindered the offense. At the end of Week 7's game, Herbert was throwing to a career special teams player and a bunch of practice squad receivers. It was not pretty.
However, changing the play-caller could provide the fresh breath of air that this offense needs and the confidence that Herbert has seemingly lacked since the Jacksonville game. Part of it probably has to do with his ribs but Herbert isn't playing with the same confidence and gusto that we saw him play with last season and even the first two weeks this year.
I'm not entirely sure that the team will commit to this quite yet because of the injuries that are definitely limiting the offensive side of the ball. That being said, it would not be shocking if we saw Hill take over defensive play-calling duties as early as Week 9, with Staley focusing on Lombardi's operation on offense.
And if things don't quickly improve then, Lombardi very well could get the axe.