During the past few hours, there has been speculation about the future of current offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, as the Chargers blocked the Chicago Bears from interviewing him for their vacant OC position. In fact, the Chargers did the same with their current special teams coordinator, Ryan Ficken, blocking the interview with the New York Giants to fill that same position.
Although the main topic of conversation is the head coaching search, and possible hiring of star coaches like Jim Harbaugh (who is having a second in-person interview on Tuesday) or Mike Vrabel), this Kellen Moore news causes intrigue in fan circles: Is Moore one of the serious candidates for the head coaching vacancy?
Are the Chargers thinking about reuniting him with head coaching candidate Dan Quinn? Or do the Chargers want to provide stability for Justin Herbert's offense, regardless of who the head coach is? Though uncertain, I would like to think the Chargers opt for the third option and keep Moore as their offensive coordinator.
Kellen Moore should not be the next Chargers Head Coach
Kellen Moore was the second head coaching candidate interviewed, following interim head coach Giff Smith. It made sense for the franchise to begin its exhaustive search in-house. Chargers fans know that Moore is not the solution for what we are looking for in our next head coach. Despite his offensive background, he does not have the head coaching experience that we so desire in this coaching cycle.
It also doesn't help that the Chargers had a disastrous season, plus they completely abandoned the run game after Week 1. On the other hand, though Justin Herbert excelled in many games, the passing game could not maintain a consistent rhythm until our franchise quarterback's injury.
A potential Harbaugh-Moore duo to save Justin Herbert's career
Among the interviewees, there are several names that I would put above Moore, such as Harbaugh, Vrabel, Ben Johnson or Raheem Morris. They either have head coaching experience or have been consistent in their respective coordinations (e.g., Ben Johnson as the Lions OC).
This does not mean that his career in LA is over, as he would be key to the team's success if he stays as OC. Moore was successful in Dallas with Mike McCarthy (not the best of leaders, but he is superior to Staley), building an elite offense and "marrying" the passing and running game. I'm excited to see Kellen Moore achieving with top-level leaders of men like Harbaugh or Vrabel.
Though KPRC2's Aaron Wilson reported Greg Roman to be Harbaugh's preferred option, the Chargers should recommend OC Kellen Moore to him and the other candidates. In addition to being under the leadership of a more competent head coach, he would provide the same system to our star QB Justin Herbert, who has suffered offensive instability since college. Having already gone through three different offensive coordinators in the NFL, he also learned three different offenses in his time with the Oregon Ducks. Having performed at a very high level in the NFL, he could reach his peak if paired up with continuity.
Kellen Moore's critics would argue he failed in his first year with Justin Herbert. However, after reviewing every game in 2023, our quarterback had a good year. Herbert kept the Chargers fighting in games they ended up losing because of the defense, such as those against the Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Moreover, despite Mike Williams' season-ending injury, and Gerald Everett, Keenan Allen, and Josh Palmer getting hurt throughout the season, the Chargers finished the 2023 season as the ninth-best offense in passing yards. This statistic includes QB Easton Stick's play, who started the final four games after Herbert's injury.
After blocking the Bears interview, and continuing the head coaching search, the Chargers could define Kellen Moore's future in the next few hours. Although Chargers fans are divided on giving him a second chance, Moore is the best OC option to take the Chargers' offense to the next level, which he already demonstrated with the Cowboys. Pairing Moore up with a top head coaching candidate, like Jim Harbaugh or Mike Vrabel, makes this idea even more attractive.