Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn recently announced the new coordinators for offense, defense and special teams. Out of the coordinators, only one has worked with the Chargers this past season.
Former Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart joins the Bolts as a special teams coordinator. Ken Whisenhunt will be going into his third season with the Chargers as offensive coordinator and former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is now the defensive coordinator.
“We have a good mixture of experienced coaches, young coaches,” Lynn said about choosing the coaching staff. “It took some time to get the right people in the building and it was definitely a group effort.”
Stewart also is the assistant head coach, Lynn recalled the years when he played for the San Francisco 49ers and Stewart was the special teams coach there in the late 1990’s.
“I had a chance to watch him teach, communicate, and get the most out of his players,” Lynn said.
Stewart spent the last 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a wide receiver coach, ushering Stefon Diggs, Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice into prominence. He mentioned how he spent two weeks reviewing film of last season to better understand the players and positions.
“We have a good kicker in terms of Josh Lambo,” Steward said. “We have a good core, started by Dexter McCluster.”
Whisenhunt had experience as a head coach for the Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans. He expressed his excitement for the potential in running back Melvin Gordon and for the talent in quarterback Phillip Rivers.
“Last year was a tough year for us all around, but there were some really positive things offensively,” Whisenhunt said.
Bradley mentioned how Whisenhunt was a major reason why he wanted to work as defensive coordinator for the Chargers. He developed one of the strongest defenses in the NFL during his time with the Seattle Seahawks.
Lynn referred to Bradley as the energizer bunny and Bradley wants the Charger defense to have the same enthusiasm and energy.
“I think the challenge in the NFL is you always want to take your side of the ball and really elevate it,” Bradley said.
The Bolts had a 5-11 overall record for 2016, coming up last in the AFC West. The team accumulated 21 injures by the end of the season.
Stand out wide receiver Keenan Allen suffered a knee injury during their season opening game against the Kansas City Chiefs. After being signed with the Chargers in April 2016, tight end Jeff Cumberland has yet to play a game for the team due to an Achilles injury.
The new coach and coordinators are still learning the current players while observing the draft class for new additions in order to improve the team.
“I know those guys, those guys have my back,” Lynn said. “Something’s gonna cross my desk that I haven’t been exposed to, they’re gonna help me with it and that’s gonna help the organization, that’s what I care about.”