The LA Chargers have been in the process of finding a new offensive coordinator to replace Joe Lombardi for 2023 and beyond. With Justin Herbert and all of the talent on offense, this is easily the best coordinator opening in the entire NFL.
There are a lot of quality candidates that the Chargers have already reached out to and will continue to reach out to. Perhaps the best of them all is Frank Reich, who has ties to the Chargers and is regarded as a fantastic offensive mind. Look at what he did with the talent he had to work with in Indianapolis. Imagine what he could do with Herbert.
Other teams also value Frank Reich and have head coach openings to potentially offer him. Reich has interviewed for multiple head coaching gigs and it appears that a mediocre team is preparing to offer him the job. Nothing is official, but the Panthers seem to be the favorites to hire Reich.
Reich did spend a season with the Carolina Panthers in his playing days and actually threw the first touchdown in franchise history in 1995. A reunion with him is something that would benefit Carolina, but would it actually benefit Reich?
Frank Reich might be better off being the offensive coordinator of the LA Chargers.
Look, 99% of the time it is better to take a head-coaching gig than it is to take a coordinator gig. You get paid more and you have complete control of the team. This is what every coach strives for: to become one of the 32 men that can call themselves an NFL head coach.
That being said, Carolina has to be one of the worst coach openings to exist on the market. This is a small-market franchise that notoriously has not spent (nor been successful) during its existence. Carolina was not great in 2022 and is still a long way to go until they are a playoff-caliber team.
Does Reich really want to go to another team that is going to play quarterback roulette and make him coach some mediocre stopgap quarterback? That doesn't sound like a great time, and quite frankly, it could tank Reich's coaching stock.
Or, he could come to the LA Chargers to take the best coordinator job in the sport and boost his value. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL but as long as Reich doesn't fall flat on his face, he will become one of the marquee head-coaching hires next cycle after unlocking Justin Herbert.
Instead of having to take a job with a team like Carolina, Reich could become the leading favorite for a higher-profile job. Perhaps Mike McCarthy finally gets the boot in Dallas. Maybe Sean McVay retires. Heck, maybe he gets an opportunity like Doug Pederson got and he gets to coach a young high draft pick in year two.
All of those options are better than coaching a mediocre Panthers team to eight wins next season with a stopgap quarterback under center. The path to getting those options is first stopping with the Chargers.