The LA Chargers have the best coordinator opening in the entire sport after firing Joe Lombardi. Justin Herbert is one of the elite young quarterbacks in the league and any coordinator looking to climb the coaching ladder would be blessed to build an offense around him.
This hire is also extremely important for Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco as their jobs could be on the line in 2023. If the Bolts fail to meet expectations and cannot hire the right offensive coordinator then the Spanos family may turn the page to a new era of Chargers football.
Various names have been attached to the Chargers already and on Monday morning two new candidates were reported. The team requested to interview LA Rams senior offensive assistant Greg Olson and Tennessee Titans tight ends coach Luke Steckel.
While it is exciting to have two new names attached to the offensive coordinator job, these latest candidates are not as strong as those who have been connected to the team prior.
Greg Olson and Luke Steckel would be bad hires for Chargers offensive coordinator.
There are fans who really like Greg Olson (Luke Steckel is a dark horse candidate out of left field) that are going to disagree with this assessment. Olson is coming from Sean McVay and the Rams but there are reasons to be pessimistic about him as an offensive coordinator.
Olson had his first NFL coaching job in 2001 and has been full-time in the league since 2003. In that time, Olson has had six different offensive coordinator jobs. Six.
None of those six were particularly impressive. Sure, there were good things to point out in several of those offenses, but it is not like Olson brought anything to the table that changed the dynamic of the team. He never lasted more than four years as the offensive coordinator and never got a head coaching chance. That should tell you something.
Some may point to his successes with the Rams or even as the Las Vegas Raiders' offense coordinator from 2018 to 2021. In both of those situations, the head coach of the team were offensive-minded head coaches who had a far bigger impact than Olson did. The Chargers do not have the benefit of having an offensive-minded head coach.
Olson has value as an offensive mind and him joining the staff in a lesser capacity would not be bad. But it is hard to get excited about someone who has gotten six offensive coordinator jobs in the past and really has not done anything special with any of them.
Luke Steckel is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum as he does not have enough coaching experience in the NFL. Some point out the fact that Steckel went to Princeton as some kind of qualification that makes him a better candidate. Going to an Ivy League school because your dad was an NFL coach doesn't make you an offensive guru.
Steckel has worked his way up as an offensive assistant and first got into the league because of his father, who coached in the NFL from 1978 to 2003. This is not to say that Steckel doesn't have a future as an offensive coordinator, but the Chargers can't be so obsessed with finding the next hidden gem that they pass on better candidates.
Plus, Chargers fans have already had to deal with one offensive coordinator from an NFL family that didn't work out. Maybe they should go in a different direction this time.