Former Chargers coach becomes the latest Alabama reclamation project

Auburn v Alabama
Auburn v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

It has been a good few weeks if you are a former coach for the LA Chargers. A few weeks ago, former Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich was hired to be the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Then, after the Super Bowl, former Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen was hired to be the head coach of Reich's old team, the Indianapolis Colts.

Throw in the fact that both Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn coached playoff teams — McCoy being the QBs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Lynn being the assistant head coach/RBs coach for the San Francisco 49ers — and there are a lot of former Charger coaches succeeding in the NFL right now.

One former Chargers coach is trying to go down that same path but needs to make a pitstop on the way, coaching under Nick Saban for Alabama. Alabama has been a place where NFL coaches go to revitalize their careers, with several examples of it working in said coaches' favor.

Former Chargers OC Ken Whisenhunt has been hired by the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Ken Whisenhunt had two separate tenures with the LA Chargers. He first joined the team to be its offensive coordinator in 2013 after spending six seasons as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. The Bolts made the playoffs (their only under McCoy) and Whisenhunt was hired to be the head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

That lasted two seasons before Whisenhunt was fired and he returned to the Chargers, spending three more seasons as the team's offensive coordinator. Whisenhunt was fired in 2019 in what was Philip Rivers' last season with the Chargers.

After two seasons as an offensive analyst for Penn State, Whisenhunt will now join Nick Saban's staff in a move that is certainly meant to revive his NFL coaching career. Whisenhunt has seen what several other former NFL coaches have done and is looking to follow in the same path.

Brian Daboll is the most notable example. His first tenure in the NFL had run its course so he joined Alabama to be its OC and QBs coach. He was great in his one year, got the OC job with the Buffalo Bills and is now one of the best young head coaches in the sport.

Bill O'Brien is the latest example to utilize this strategy. O'Brien spent two seasons in the same role that Daboll had after he was fired by the Houston Texans. O'Brien will be making his return to the NFL in 2023 as he was hired to be the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

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Other recent examples of NFL coaches using Alabama just so they could jump to the league shortly after include Doug Marrone and Chargers' defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley.