The LA Chargers fell to 4-3 in Week 7 before heading into the bye and fans were not happy about it. Los Angeles was outplayed and outcoached in just about every area, giving the team its second definitive, ugly loss of the year.
While the team has a winning record, they are one missed field goal and one muffed punt away from being 2-5. Add in the fact that they have the sixth-worst point differential in the sport without a single definitive win and it is not hard to see why fans are upset with this coaching staff.
That has caused a lot of fans to call for Brandon Staley to be fired. We here at Bolt Beat have already broken down why Staley is not going to get fired anytime soon and why he ultimately should not be. Firing him would be pointless; it would be waving the white flag on the season. LA isn't trading for Sean Payton midseason to come put out this fire. The job would instead go to an assistant coach.
And many fans may not realize it, but the assistant coach that would get the job would be the last person that they want.
Joe Lombardi would become the interim head coach if the LA Chargers fired Brandon Staley.
This definitely is not what we want to see but the fact of the matter is that if Staley is fired, someone has to take over as the interim and the most "qualified" to do so is Lombardi. The same guy that Chargers fans have been outraged with would run the show.
Why Lombardi? Well, it is not that hard to go through the process of elimination. The three coordinators are instantly the favorites to take over as an interim head coach if Staley gets the ax. They definitely won't promote Renaldo Hill, who doesn't even call the places as the DC. The defense is the worst part about this team. They need him to focus on that.
Ryan Ficken might be the best choice in terms of fan happiness but that won't matter. Special teams coordinators rarely get shots like this and Ficken just came into this system. Sure, he has done a great job with the special teams, but that will keep him on that side of the ball.
Some fans are probably already asking about Rich Bisaccia, who was the special teams coordinator for the Las Vegas Raiders before getting promoted to interim. He was also assistant head coach before Jon Gruden left. The Chargers do not have an assistant head coach.
Joe Lombardi has the most experience coaching in the NFL and comes from the Sean Payton tree that Chargers fans are drooling over. If Dean Spanos is already preparing to bring Payton in next offseason, he is going to do him a favor and give his old quarterbacks coach a chance so he can raise his coaching stock in the league.
It is also the easiest transition to make in terms of elevating an assistant to fill Lombardi's shoes. Shane Day would become the offensive coordinator and as the head coach, Lombardi would likely still call the plays.
Firing Staley after the season if the Chargers miss the playoffs is absolutely justifiable and probably should happen. And when it does, the entire coaching staff will likely get wiped out as they bring in an entirely new regime, once again.
But if they do it midseason someone has to take over. That someone would probably be Joe Lombardi. So think again before demanding that Staley gets fired in-season.