Chargers surprisingly fire defensive coach despite 2 huge success stories

Jason Reed
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages
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The LA Chargers issued a classic Monday morning news drop (this time coming on Tuesday because of the holiday weekend) when the team announced it was parting ways with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and passing game coordinator Shane Day.

This move was met with adulation among a fanbase that was beyond frustrated with the direction of the offense and the inability to maximize Justin Herbert. Now, the Chargers are on the search for a new offensive coordinator that can unlock that next level with Herbert.

Firing offensive coaches was not the only thing that the Bolts were doing on Tuesday. Later in the day, Daniel Popper of The Athletic reported that the team fired linebackers coach Michael Wilhoite after two seasons on Staley's staff.

The Chargers have enjoyed breakout seasons from a linebacker in back-to-back years. Kyzir White had the best season of his career in 2021, paving the way for Drue Tranquill to do the same in 2022. Tranquill was arguably the best defensive player on the Chargers in 2022.

While those two players have enjoyed breakout years, another player's lack of progression in the linebacker room might ultimately be the cause of Wilhoite's demise.

The Chargers may have fired Michael Wilhoite because of Kenneth Murray's struggles.

This is the only logical conclusion to come to after both White and Tranquill had career years. The Chargers spent a lot of capital to get Kenneth Murray in Los Angeles and the results have not been very good thus far.

Murray has had flashes of brilliance but overall, his lack of situational awareness in both the run and pass game has burned the Chargers far too many times. Murray is freakishly gifted athletically and it was up to Wilhoite to aid in his development as a pro linebacker.

Even if it is not directly Wilhoite's fault (some players simply cannot make the NFL transition), the team is not going to give up on the linebacker that it just spent a second and third-round pick on to acquire.

Murray is entering a massive season as 2023 will be his fourth year in the league. The Chargers are hoping to get the same kind of boom in Murray's fourth season that they got with White and Tranquill.

MORE: 5 Chargers who just played their last game in LA

If it is going to happen, it is going to happen with someone else coaching the linebackers.

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