The favorite to land the LA Chargers head coaching job right now is 2024 National Champion, Jim Harbaugh. Many signs are pointing Harbaugh straight to LA while fans have not even thought about alternatives with Harbaugh being the obvious one of one.
With the Las Vegas Raiders essentially bowing out of the Harbaugh sweepstakes because of Antonio Pierce, many fans assumed that the Chargers had no other NFL competition for Harbaugh's services. The belief was that it would ultimately come down to whether or not Harbaugh actually wanted to coach in the NFL or if he wanted to return to Michigan.
That belief was shattered on Tuesday when it was surprisingly announced that the Atlanta Falcons had completed an interview with Harbaugh. Atlanta was previously tied to Bill Belichick but did not seem like a suitor for Harbaugh.
If that was not enough to stress Chargers fans out, the latest development around defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen might be even more concerning. After initially blocking Nielsen from interviewing for other DC jobs, the Falcons are now allowing other teams to speak with him.
Falcons allowing Ryan Nielsen to interview is concerning for the Chargers
There obviously was a change of heart in Atlanta and that change of heart so happened to occur after the team spoke with Harbaugh. This is not a coincidence and there is a very good chance that the two things are connected.
If Harbaugh is going to make the leap to the NFL it is accepted that he will likely take Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter with him. Minter has thrived with Michigan and has previous NFL experience under the Baltimore Ravens. The logical next step for his coaching career would be to follow Harbaugh to the NFL.
Obviously, if Minter is coming with Harbaugh then there is no need for the existing defensive coordinator. Allowing him to talk to other teams is the polite way of letting him know that his job security is not guaranteed next season.
There is no doubt that the Chargers would fire Derrick Ansley if they needed to in order to hire Harbaugh but they have not gotten out in front of this like the Falcons have. At the very least, this indicates that the Falcons think they have a chance at Harbaugh.
That or the team is gearing up for Belichick, who also would not need a defensive coordinator if he were to come to Atlanta. Chargers fans just have to sit back and hope that Atlanta is more concerned about Belichick and that Harbaugh's potential desire to coach Justin Herbert overrules any perks of coaching the Falcons.