After the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Doug Marrone on Monday, there are five head coaching vacancies in the NFL as the search for the 16th head coach in Chargers' history enters its second week.
According to various experts, it is one of the most coveted positions.
Over the weekend, ESPN's Trey Wingo and Adam Schefter said the Bolts are fresh off the "best draft class in a decade" headlined by Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry and Jatavis Brown. They also opined that the team could be "looking to have a coach that creates a culture change".
That might explain why the first four candidates to interview include three defensive coordinators and one special teams coordinator after the last two Chargers head coaches boasted an offensive pedigree.
It also falls in line with what fellow ESPN expert Bill Barnwell said as he cited the team’s defense as a major selling point:
"Quietly, the Chargers have pieced together one of the most underrated defenses in the league. San Diego improved from 28th in defensive DVOA to eighth this season, on the back of key additions such as Joey Bosa and Casey Hayward. The Chargers created a ton of takeaways, forcing turnovers on 14.5 percent of opposing possessions, the third-highest rate in the league behind the Chiefs and Buccaneers….Whoever is running their defense will be blessed with a deep, talented roster. Jason Verrett, one of the best cornerbacks in football, should return from a partially torn ACL. Brandon Mebane will likely be back as a run-stopping defensive tackle. Manti Te'o will be part of the rotation at inside linebacker. If the Chargers can re-sign free agent Melvin Ingram, they really won't have any weaknesses on defense outside of safety. This unit should remain good."
On the other hand, before the search began, CBS sports noted that the offensive side of the ball is a reason why the Bolts are a coveted landing spot:
"This would be an incredible job in the short term. Rivers is still a top-caliber quarterback. Though he leads the league in picks, he's been forced to try to do too much with his injured supporting cast. In addition to Rivers, the Chargers' roster features a young, blossoming tight end in Hunter Henry, an absolute workhorse in Melvin Gordon, and a legit No. 1 receiver in Keenan Allen, who should return from injury."
Last week former Super Bowl winning head coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick explained that when coaches make their decision, the quarterback situation is always top of mind. To that end, he says, "In that regard, if we look at who has the best quarterback right now, you have to say San Diego."
For all those reasons and more, Bleacher Report says the Chargers may be the most attractive opening because, "nine (losses came) by a single possession. The new staff doesn't have far to go to turn this group into a playoff team, which could make this an appealing job."
We will have more information about the Chargers search as additional interviews are confirmed. For now, familiarize yourself with the first four candidates to meet with the Bolts.