How the Chargers may hire the next Ben Johnson along with Jim Harbaugh

Michigan National Championship Celebration
Michigan National Championship Celebration / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

The LA Chargers made a home run hire by convincing Jim Harbaugh to return to the NFL and make a run at the Super Bowl with Justin Herbert. For the first time (maybe in franchise history), the Chargers hired the best, most notable coach available.

Because of the history of the franchise, as well as the possibility that Harbaugh would return to Michigan, Chargers fans were still prepared if the deal did not happen. The team itself interviewed a myriad of candidates in addition to Harbaugh and fans started to create an "if it's not Harbaugh" wish list.

Atop that wish list for many fans was Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Johnson is the hottest coordinator name in the head coaching market and the thought of what he could have done with Herbert was exciting.

Absolutely nobody is complaining that the Chargers hired Harbaugh over Johnson, especially considering the Bolts might be able to hire the next Johnson to be Harbaugh's coordinator. That truly would be the best of both worlds and is possible if the team hires Tanner Engstrand.

Tanner Engstrand could be the next Ben Johnson for the Chargers

As Haglund (of the Guilty as Charged Podcast, go check them out!) alludes to in the post above, the fact that Ian Rapoport made sure to mention that Engstrand worked with Harbaugh is intentional. Where there is smoke there is often fire and it is not crazy to think that Engstrand could be a candidate for Chargers OC.

The Chargers are certainly a more intriguing destination than the New England Patriots, so it really is in Harbaugh's hands whether or not Engstrand is a real offensive coordinator candidate. With all of his ties to Harbaugh and the Chargers, it makes a lot of sense.

Engstrand has worked with Harbaugh at both the University of San Diego as well as Michigan. He also coached alongside Pep Hamilton in the XFL. Hamilton was Herbert's quarterbacks coach as a rookie, so that relationship gives Engstrand a head start with Herbert over other candidates.

The 41-year-old is a San Diego native and has played a prominent role in Detroit's top-tier offense to this point. Johnson has rightfully gotten all of the attention for Detroit's great offensive turnaround but Engstrand has been part of that equation as well.

Even though he does not have experience being a coordinator, someone like Engstrand is a lot more intriguing of a candidate than someone like Greg Roman. Engstrand is this blend of several different qualifying factors, which might make him the best possible coordinator for Harbaugh to hire.

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