The NFL coaching carousel continues to spin with Los Angeles Chargers parting ways with Anthony Lynn (pictured) and the Jacksonville Jaguars, unsurprisingly, also removing Doug Marrone from his post as head coach.
They join the now former New York Jets head coach Adam Gase in being the first head coach casualties of the year since the regular season ended on Sunday night. They add to Bill O’Brien (Texans), Dan Quinn (Falcons) and Matt Patricia (Lions) were all axed during the regular season.
The firing of Marrone (1-15 with the Jags) and Gase (2-14 with the Jets) was inevitable given the dismal seasons both teams had under their coaches (and not the first in either case).
Lynn was a little unfortunate to lose his job after the Chargers finished 7-9, especially seeing his team win their last four games of the season. Plus, it was not that long ago that he led the Chargers to a 12-4 season in his second year as head coach of the Bolts.
The #Chargers have fired Anthony Lynn, the team announced.
Here is a statement from owner Dean Spanos: pic.twitter.com/fPmX4ONFOF
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) January 4, 2021
The Situation in Los Angeles
So what will the Chargers owner Dean A. Spanos look for in his new head coach? Well the good news is that the Chargers, now that they are L.A-based have a firm foundation on which to build. Lynn’s excellent work with emerging quarterback Justin Herbert should also not be overlooked.
Herbert has emerged as a genuine force in the NFL this season and it looks like the Chargers have found their long-term replacement for Philip Rivers and a player that could be one of the elite players in the game for the next decade.
Add to that a more than serviceable defense led by Joey Bosa, Kenneth Murry and Derwin James and the framework is already in place for a new head coach to make his mark.
Sure, there’s work to do; the offensive line needs rebuilding, a solid left tackle to protect Herbert is a must and the Chargers need to decide what is best to do with free agents like Melvin Ingram and Hunter Henry.
On the positive side, with an early pick in the draft and enough cap space to make some key signings in 2021, whoever Spanos does go with, is walking into a job where they can make excellent progress next season.
The Situation in Jacksonville
Shad Khan’s Jacksonville Jaguars are a team searching for an identity and there’s no doubt that of the two coaching positions that became available yesterday, the Jags is the one that looks the much more difficult job.
With the Jags splitting their regular season time between Florida and London, it is a tough position for any new coach to walk into. The Jags commitment to becoming “Europe’s NFL Team” is total, so that won’t be an experiment that will die a death any time soon.
Logistically, that can present problems for a team that will spend almost a month or so of the season in the UK. However, it is the 1-15 record that is perhaps more pressing for any incoming head coach to resolve and in the tough AFC South, that could be a difficult task.
Both the Colts and Titans will be forces again next season and if the Houston Texans can find some weapons for DeShaun Watson on offense, the Texans will be stronger too.
However, there are plus points for any new coach coming in. The Jags will likely pick Clemson Quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first pick of the 2021 Draft.
In Lawrence they are getting a player that seems ready made to become an elite NFL quarterback and, perhaps, a generational talent. He is the face the team can rebuild the Franchise around.
Add to that three more picks in the first two rounds, as well as the likes of James Robinson, DJ Chark, Josh Allen and Myles Jack on the roster, some big pieces in the team are already in place.
This is a long-term job for any new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, it is probably going to be at least two years before this is a genuine playoff contender team and that only if they manage to land big hits in the draft and Free Agency.
With names like Byron Leftwich, Greg Roman, Jim Harbaugh, Eric Bieniemy, Raheem Morris, Arthur Smith and Robert Saleh amongst the names linked with both posts, it promises to be a very interesting off season for Jags and Chargers fans.