Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley spoke for 40 minutes Wednesday morning in his season-ending press conference.
The Bolts search for a new offensive coordinator was the topic du jour.
The Chargers on Tuesday announced they had parted ways with Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi and Passing Game Coordinator/quarterbacks coach Shane Day.
Staley on Wednesday explained his reasoning behind those decisions.
"First off, Joe and Shane are really good coaches and I want to thank them for everything that they helped us accomplish over the last two years. But just felt like we needed to make changes to the offense and the vision for the way I have us playing on that side of the football," Staley said. "I think there's a different gear we can get to as a football team. Definitely not an easy decision because they did a really quality job for two years, but I think we can make improvements on that side of the football. That's going to have our focus moving forward."
The unit dealt with inconsistent play and injuries in 2022 and was unable to reach the standard of the previous season.
The Chargers 2022 offense saw a downtick in numerous categories from a season ago, including total yards per game, first downs per game and red-zone scoring percentage.
The Bolts also averaged 23.0 points per game in 2022 compared to 27.9 a season ago.
The Chargers averaged just 8.0 points in the second halves of games this season, which ranked 28th among all teams. And the Bolts tied for the fifth-fewest total explosive plays with 86.
Staley said the Chargers will soon begin the search for a new offensive coordinator.
But he's not looking for a specific amount of experience from a potential candidate.
"You're looking for leadership, No. 1. You're looking for someone that can really connect the group and get them to play a certain type of way. I think that's where it starts," Staley said. "It comes from young guys, medium guys, older guys.
"But it really starts with leadership and bringing out the style of play that we want to have as a football team," Staley added. "It's about our football team all three phases playing a certain style. That's what we're after in terms of leading this group and connecting it."
Staley offered some detail into what type of scheme and vision he hopes the next offensive coordinator will bring.
"In terms of what that looks like, I think the offenses that are the most challenging to defend are the ones that put a lot of pressure on you on every snap in terms of marrying the run to the pass game," Staley said. "Putting a lot of pressure on you with personnel groupings, pace, motion and being able to hit explosions consistently. That's what I believe in.
"I want to have an offense that mirrors our defense because I think those are the types of organizations and football teams that are consistent game-in and game-out, season-in and season-out," Staley added.
Quarterback Justin Herbert will be the focal point of the next offensive system, Staley also noted.
On the day he was hired, Staley said that his hope was "not being able to impose a system on him is creating the system for Justin and uniquely shaping it to his skillset because he is unlike anybody in the NFL."
Put another way, Staley said he wanted to build the Bolts offense around Herbert.
He referenced that mindset again Wednesday.
"Everything we do within the program, we try to communicate with our players," Staley said.
Just like when I first got here, shaping the offense will go through him.
"And when I talked about 'him being the system,' I mean it. He now has three years of NFL experience to bank on," Staley added. "There's a lot of plays. We're going to try to keep a lot of that consistent for him where we can."
While Herbert is undoubtedly the face of the Bolts offense, there are plenty of other playmakers on that side of the ball, too.
"We have one of the top jobs in the league," Staley said.
Staley's goal for the Chargers next offensive coordinator is for them to take the entire unit to new heights.
"I think you're not trying to stay in a certain place," Staley said. "You're always trying to take your game to a different level and that's what it's about, us creating that optimum level that I know that our team can get to offensively.
"I think we played really quality football for two years," Staley added. "But in terms of us being able to compete for Super Bowls and ultimately be as good as we can be, I think there's another gear we can get to."
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