In just a few weeks the LA Chargers will officially begin the process of hiring the team's next head coach. Los Angeles cannot interview candidates until the divisional round but there is already a list of intriguing options for the Bolts.
One of the compelling questions that needs to be answered during this search is what the team will do with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Typically, new head coaches will clean house and set up a new staff. However, Moore has only been on the staff for one year and has been highly praised in the past.
There should be a desire for some stability at offensive coordinator as Justin Herbert has had to undergo many coordinator changes dating back to his time at Oregon. But if the Chargers hire an offensive-minded head coach to call plays there may not be a need for Moore.
There is also the possibility of Moore leaving the Chargers for a head coaching opportunity. Moore has been tied to the Carolina Panthers and is one of the favorites to land the Las Vegas Raiders head coaching job. While all this is great for Moore, are we sure that he has done enough to get a head coaching job in 2024?
Kellen Moore hasn't done enough to leave the Chargers for a head coaching job
Kellen Moore has been a hot name on the coaching scene for several years now. After his success with the Dallas Cowboys, it looked like Moore was on a straight path to being a head coach. However, he and the Cowboys decided to part ways after the 2022 season and the only job available to him was another coordinator job.
Don't get it wrong, the Chargers hiring Moore was a smart move. They hired someone with experience calling plays who was just the pilot for one of the best offenses in the sport. On paper, it was a perfect marriage; the Chargers got the coordinator they needed while Moore was in a great situation to improve his head coaching stock.
Unfortunately for Moore, his value has only taken a hit since this partnership. Dallas had early red zone struggles without Moore and righted that ship. The Chargers still have a higher red zone touchdown percentage but Dallas has climbed up to 16th on the rankings and is scoring in other ways as well.
The Cowboys rank third in points per game and sixth in yards per game. In a year where offense is down throughout the league, Dallas is averaging more points and yards per game than the team averaged a year ago. The departure of Moore hasn't really hurt the team like many thought it would.
Meanwhile, Moore hasn't done much to really elevate the Chargers offensively. The games with Easton Stick cannot be counted as that is a completely different scenario. But from Week 1 through Week 13, the Chargers were averaging 22.9 points per game. The 2022 Chargers, under everyone's favorite Joe Lombardi, averaged 23 points per game.
But Corey Linsley has been out all year! And Mike Williams! Well, last year's team had just as many offensive injuries. The results have been nearly identical for the Chargers. No rushing game to speak of and an offensive line that has struggled. Moore was meant to improve the offense in LA but quite frankly, things have looked most of the same.
Granted, an offense's performance is deeper than just the total points scored and Moore has been a better play-caller than Lombardi was. There has been more intent in the play calls and the dreaded route trees that Lombardi ran have been erased.
But on the flip side, Moore has also treated Quentin Johnston like he is Mike Williams even though that is not the type of receiver he is at all. The offensive line has been awful in recognizing blitz packages and stopping free runners. No running backs have developed at all. All of those things are indictments against Moore.
Keeping Moore around as the offensive coordinator next season would not be a bad thing at all. Some continuity for Herbert would be great and Moore could improve with a better head coach working alongside him. But either way, he definitely has not done enough to be a head coach, at least in 2024.