4 dark horse candidates to replace Brandon Staley as Chargers head coach

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Jim Schwartz could be a dark horse Chargers head coach candidate

Jim Schwartz is by no means a lesser-known coach like Staley was when he was hired by the Chargers. In fact, his name has become a prominent one in the league as he is piloting arguably the best defense in the sport in the Cleveland Browns.

That being said, he is not the first defensive coordinator that comes to mind as a potential head coach candidate. That would be Cincinnati's Lou Anarumo, who has seemingly been the next guy up to get a head coaching gig for several years now.

It would be a surprise alone if the Chargers hired a defensive coach. If they hired one that was not Anarumo it would be even more surprising, which is the entire reason why Schwartz is a dark horse. And while Schwartz is not an exciting option, the potential logic for the Chargers is easy to see.

Schwartz has been in the league in some capacity since 1993, when he started as a scout for the Browns. He has one previous head coaching stint with the Detroit Lions where he went 29-51. He has bounced around from staff to staff but has piloted some really great defenses in recent years, starting with the Philadelphia Eagles in the late 2010s and leading into this Browns team.

Once again, it is not hard to see the Chargers talking themselves into hiring a coach with experience that way he is not learning on the job. By hiring another defensive coach, the team could theoretically keep Kellen Moore on the staff to give Justin Herbert continuity in the offense. That is the logic that the Chargers may take.

It probably would not be a good hire, though. There is a reason why Schwartz has only gotten one head coaching chance in his career. Some guys are simply meant to be really good coordinators and that is it.

That being said, there is a path for the Chargers to convince themselves of this hire, making Schwartz a legitimate dark horse option.