Prominent head coach candidate sends loud and clear message to Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The LA Chargers made headlines on Friday when the team finally decided to part ways with both head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco. Chargers fans have been calling for these moves for months and the Bolts even reportedly considered making the moves earlier this season.

Giff Smith has been appointed as interim head coach to lead the Bolts over the last three weeks of the season. Smith obviously is not the long-term answer for the Chargers at head coach and ownership should already be compiling a list of potential targets to fill the vacancy.

One of those targets was coaching on primetime Saturday night and reminded Chargers fans why he might be the favorite to get the job. Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was in his bag on Saturday as his team scored 42 points and picked up 448 yards of offense against the Denver Broncos.

Ben Johnson sends loud and clear message to Chargers ownership

This is the exact same Broncos team that the Chargers struggled to move the ball against a week before. Granted, Justin Herbert got hurt right before halftime, but the difference in what the Lions were able to do and what the Chargers did is night and day.

Johnson is one of the most compelling candidates for the Chargers' head coaching vacancy and might just be the best. The things he has done as the offensive coordinator and play-caller in Detroit should absolutely be respected. With a franchise quarterback that desperately needs some offensive consistency, hiring a great offensive mind to stick around for several years is the best route to take.

Of course, because no candidate is perfect, there is some pushback to hiring Johnson. Some fans are worried about the fact that he is a first-time head coach after three straight first-time head coaches have failed for the Bolts. Additionally, even though Jared Goff is his quarterback, some are arguing that Johnson has better tools to succeed in Detroit than he would have in LA.

As far as the first-time head coach thing goes: every candidate should be judged on their own merit. It is unfair to use sweeping generalizations as an argument for or against a particular candidate. Sure, the Chargers have struggled in hiring first-time head coaches, but that does not mean that every first-time head coach is doomed.

Offensively, the Lions do have a better offensive line and younger weapons but he would still have plenty to work with in LA. The quarterback disparity is massive, so that would naturally open doors, and there is still an entire offseason to draft and add ancillary pieces to fit his vision. Plus, this offensive line has shown it has the capability of being elite and if Corey Linsley returns next season it can be.

The Chargers still have a lot of time to make a decision and the team absolutely needs to leave every stone unturned. But if Saturday night proved anything, it proved that Johnson should be someone who excites the fanbase, not worries it.

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