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Instant Analysis: What You Need to Know About Chargers Coordinators Hires


Jim Harbaugh has his coordinators in place.

The Chargers recently announced that they have hired Greg Roman as the offensive coordinator and brought on Jesse Minter to be the defensive coordinator.

Chargers Special Teams Coordinator Ryan Ficken, who spent the past two seasons in that role, will remain with the Bolts.

Here is what each coordinator will bring to the Chargers:

Greg Roman


When Harbaugh jumped from Stanford to the 49ers in 2011, he made sure to bring Roman with him.

As Harbaugh returns to the NFL, Roman will once again be on Harbaugh's staff.

The 51-year-old Roman is regarded as one of football's top offensive minds and his track record speaks for itself.

Roman helped Harbaugh's 49ers reach three straight NFC title games from 2011 to 2013 as the team relied on a physical and punishing offense.

Roman's group included a run game — something the Bolts have sorely lacked in recent years — that finished eighth or better in rushing yards per game in those three seasons.

Those 49ers offenses featured big running backs and maulers along the offensive line who could wear opposing defenses down in the fourth quarter.

And while the Bolts might have to figure out their running back room this offseason, the pieces are in place up front with players such as Rashawn Slater, Trey Pipkins III, Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer.

Then there's Justin Herbert, who will surely benefit from a more balanced offensive attack.

Roman has helped elevate whichever quarterback he's worked with of late, whether it was Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco or Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.

Roman has worked for both Harbaugh brothers and was a key element to Jackson winning NFL MVP honors in 2019.

Roman's quarterbacks routinely rank low in interception rates, something Herbert has thrived at in his first four seasons in the league.

The pairing of Roman and Herbert should only take the quarterback's game to an even higher level, which is a scary thought for the rest of the league.

Jesse Minter


In his introductory press conference, Harbaugh succinctly laid out what he wants from his defense.

"If they don't score, they don't win," Harbaugh said. "Put a defense out there that is aggressive, hard to score them, have to get turnovers."

Enter Minter, who just spent the past two season with Harbaugh as Michigan's defensive coordinator doing exactly that.

The Wolverines relied on their exceptional defense on the way to a national title this past season as Minter's group ranked in the Top-10 in nearly every statistical category.

Michigan ranked first in points allowed per game (10.4), yards allowed per game (247.0) and turnover differential (plus-19).

The Wolverines were also second in passing yards allowed per game (157.0), tied for third in takeaways (27) and fourth in red-zone defense (72.0 percent).

And it's not as if all of Minter's success has come at the college level, either.

He spent four seasons (2017-20) with the Ravens, including the final year as Baltimore's defensive backs coach.

Minter helped the Ravens have one of the league's stingiest defenses that season as Baltimore ranked third in yards per pass attempt (6.4) and seventh in defensive passer rating allowed (87.2).

Minter knows what works at both the NFL and college levels. And he knows exactly the mindset and feel Harbaugh will want from his defense and will undoubtedly bring that to the Bolts.

Now, the thought of Minter getting creative with players such as Derwin James, Jr., Tuli Tuipulotu and Asante Samuel, Jr. should get Chargers fans excited for the future.

The Bolts have dipped overall on defense in recent seasons, but the expectation is that Minter will get the most out of this group and help the Bolts get back into playoff contention behind a disciplined and ferocious unit.

Ryan Ficken


Keeping Ficken on staff is a massive win for Harbaugh and the Bolts.

Let's face it, the Chargers historically have been a little up-and-down on special teams in recent years.

In the two seasons before Ficken arrived, the Bolts ranked 28th in special teams DVOA in 2021 and even worse (dead last) in 2020.

Ficken has rejuvenated that phase as the Chargers surged to sixth in special teams DVOA in 2022 before finishing second this past season. (For what it's worth, Pro Football Focus had the Bolts with the No. 1 special teams grade in 2023 at 90.8).

No matter how you slice it, Ficken has brought stability and success to the Chargers and is regarded as one of the league's best special teams coordinators.

Cameron Dicker? He's off to a scorching two-year start to his career by making 52 of 55 field goals (94.5 percent) with a long of 55. He's also nailed all 59 extra point attempts.

Punter JK Scott has evolved into one of the Bolts top weapons as his combination of hang time and accuracy routinely pins opponents deep in their own territory.

Long snapper Josh Harris has brought veteran leadership and accountability to the group.

Derius Davis looks like a star after he led the NFL with a punt return average of 16.0 yards as a rookie.

And the Bolts coverage units are among the most reliable in the league.

Ficken has played a major role in the success of all of the players listed above, even if he would be the first one to deflect attention and instead credit players for taking ownership of that phase.

Harbaugh spoke in his introductory press conference about how he wanted the Bolts to be a complete team, which included wanting to "win a couple of games in the special teams" phase.

Keeping Ficken on staff ensures that remains a probability.

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