The name that has dominated the Chargers head coaching search (just look at our coverage here at Bolt Beat) has been Jim Harbaugh. While the Chargers have interviewed other quality candidates like Mike Vrabel, Harbaugh is ultimately the main prize of this coaching cycle.
The Chargers continue to interview candidates while Harbaugh looms. The most recent interviewee turned some heads, though, as it was not someone who was expected to be on the team's radar.
Los Angeles interviewed Stanford head coach David Shaw on Thursday for the team's head coaching vacancy. As decorated as Shaw is, he probably is not going to get the Chargers head coaching gig over some of the other candidates with NFL head coaching experience. That being said, the fact that the Bolts brought him in for an interview in any capacity could be telling.
Chargers could be priming David Shaw to be Jim Harbaugh's offensive coordinator
Shaw, who is an offensive-minded coach, has done great things with the resources he has had at Stanford. While his style of offense does not directly translate to the NFL, it is Stanford we are talking about.
The Chargers haven't been able to consistently run the ball for two years and someone like Shaw might be able to fix that. As great as Justin Herbert is, this offense is naturally capped by its inability to run the ball. The Bolts do not need to be a top-tier rushing team, but they at least need some kind of rushing attack.
Shaw can help right that ship and his ties to Harbaugh could get him in the building. Harbaugh and Shaw go way back as Harbaugh first hired Shaw to be his WRs coach when he was with the University of San Diego. Shaw then followed Harbaugh to Stanford and has remained with the program ever since.
It would be a reunion of sorts and this kind of synergy might be exactly what the Chargers need. Shaw has previous experience coaching in the NFL and the next step for his career might be to hitch his wagon to Harbaugh and Herbert to eventually get him a head-coaching gig in the NFL.
Even if Shaw is not interested in the offensive coordinator role with the Chargers, the fact that the Bolts brought him in of all candidates is telling. Shaw's history with Harbaugh is well known and the Chargers interviewing him is not an accident.
Where there is smoke, there is fire and there is a whole lot of smoke around Harbaugh as time moves along. With or without Shaw, Chargers fans have to like the team's chances.