Will Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn be fired at the end of the regular season? On last week’s episode of the Draft Insiders podcast, Pro Football Network Insider Tony Pauline mentioned that could be an incredibly likely situation.
Update January 3: Ian Rapoport reported that Anthony Lynn’s future is up in the air and a decision will be made tomorrow.
Inside information from Tony Pauline
Pauline had this to say:
“From what I’m told, no [to Anthony Lynn’s job security after this year]. A West Coast source told me it’s about 20% he keeps his job after this season. Someone who is very close to the Los Angeles Chargers tells me that basically, Anthony Lynn is going to be fired at the end of the year.”
Tony Pauline doubled down on that report in this week’s episode of the Draft Insiders. “I haven’t heard anything new since the report last week. If he’s back, it’s a very small chance.”
You can hear more of what Pauline had to say by clicking the video above. Want to be the first to hear inside information from PFN Insiders Tony Pauline and Benjamin Allbright? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the notifications icon so you can tune in live when our insiders break the latest news and rumors from around the league.
Anthony Lynn with the Los Angeles Chargers
Anthony Lynn joined the Chargers in 2017 when they moved from the city of San Diego to Los Angeles. He was the offensive coordinator and the interim head coach for the Buffalo Bills the season prior to being hired by Los Angeles.
It started relatively well for the Chargers, going 9-7 in Lynn’s first year and finishing second in the AFC West and then going 12-4 the following season. The team made the playoffs in 2018 before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Things have taken a turn for the worse results-wise for Lynn
However, the last two seasons have gone downhill for Lynn as the coach of the Chargers. They finished 5-11 last season and are currently sitting at 5-9. Despite the Chargers being near the top of the league in yards per game and passing yards per game, they are 21st in points per game.
Lynn’s decision making has been questionable
Worse still for Lynn is it has been his own decisions holding the team back. Multiple poor game management decisions and questionable play calls have negatively impacted the Chargers.
The Chargers have blown several leads in games and have had numerous critical errors in important situations in other games. 11 of the Chargers’ 14 games this season have been one-score games. The Chargers are 4-7 in those games.
Perhaps the biggest knife in Anthony Lynn’s job security is the bright star of QB Justin Herbert. The ownership will want to capitalize on Herbert’s play. As such, they’re going to hire a new coach that will maximize Herbert’s talents and start winning games.
Who will replace Anthony Lynn?
Tony Pauline didn’t speculate on who the Chargers could look to replace Anthony Lynn with.
However, the Chargers will likely seek to replace Lynn with an offensive coach. They need to continue to build around Justin Herbert as a staff. As such, there are a few candidates that make sense.
Anyone on the Chargers’ head coaching radar?
The Chargers could look to gut an AFC West opponent by hiring Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy to be their new head coach. Pauline and fellow Pro Football Network Insider Benjamin Allbright have mentioned Bieniemy as the top candidate for a couple of other jobs. If those interviews fall through, Bieniemy could be in play for the Chargers.
The team could also look at Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. While Anthony Lynn was also a Bills’ coach, Daboll’s creativity and development of Josh Allen in Buffalo makes him stand out. The Bills’ offense is second in passing offense, seventh in total offense, and sixth in scoring per game. Herbert’s traits are reminiscent of Josh Allen’s. If Daboll has been that successful with Allen, chances are he can replicate that with Justin Herbert.
Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith could be in play as well. Smith is credited for resurrecting Ryan Tannehill’s career in Tennessee. Smith worked his way up the rankings with the Titans and is now reaping the rewards. The Titans’ offense is fourth in total offense, 20th in passing offense, and first in scoring. General manager Tom Telesco should be familiar with Smith, as Smith worked for the Titans while Telesco was in Indianapolis.
What if the Chargers go with a defensive head coach to replace Lynn?
Speaking of which, there is a potential hire that the Chargers could make that isn’t an offensive coach. Tom Telesco originally worked for the Colts before coming over to the Chargers. As such, Colts’ defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus might be a name connected to the job through Telesco’s network. If the team is looking for a coach who manages the game better than Anthony Lynn, Eberflus would be a strong candidate in that race.
If that happens, Chargers QB coach Pep Hamilton could be promoted to offensive coordinator for Herbert’s stability. Hamilton also worked for the Colts during the early Andrew Luck years in Indianapolis.
For more than a month during The Draft Insiders podcasts and his weekly Q&A piece, Tony Pauline has mentioned Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale as the sleeper candidate getting the most chatter for a head coaching job heading this offseason.
According to Pauline, the players love Martindale, and he’s highly respected. Much like Eberflus, Martindale could be brought in to stabilize and manage the team better. There were reports last year that if Martindale were hired as a head coach, Joe Brady would have been his pick at OC. While that likely isn’t happening this year, it points to Martindale not being afraid to hire a young, exciting offensive mind for his staff.