Urban Meyer and Robert Saleh are taken, so who will be the Chargers’ next coach?

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco speaks during a news conference.
Who are the top candidates Chargers general manager Tom Telesco is looking at for the team’s head-coaching vacancy?
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Urban Meyer is in the NFL, Gus Bradley is in Las Vegas and Anthony Lynn is in the mix for a new position.

A lot has happened since the Chargers removed Lynn as their head coach Jan. 4. Hiring his replacement, though, remains on the list of things to come.

The team has interviewed at least eight candidates and considered a few others, including Meyer, one of the winningest college coaches who was introduced Friday as the new man in Jacksonville.

The Chargers met formally with Robert Saleh and were expected to have a second meeting with the former San Francisco assistant before he and the New York Jets agreed on a contract late Thursday night.

The New York Jets reached an agreement in principle with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to hire him as their head coach.

Jan. 14, 2021


Three candidates for the Chargers’ opening — Brandon Staley (defensive coordinator of the Rams), Brian Daboll (offensive coordinator, Buffalo) and Eric Bieniemy (offensive coordinator, Kansas City) — remain in the playoffs.

After the divisional-round games this weekend, there could be progress between any of those three and the Chargers, with Daboll widely considered to be the favorite.

He and Chargers general manager Tom Telesco attended the same high school in New York in the early 1990s, though Telesco warned last week about reading too much into their history.

If the Chargers do opt for Daboll, he would be taking the same step Lynn took four years ago when he joined the Chargers after serving as the Bills’ offensive coordinator. Lynn also finished the 2016 season as Buffalo’s interim head coach following the firing of Rex Ryan with one game to go.

Lynn was dismissed last week after four seasons, one playoff appearance and a 33-31 record with the Chargers.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy greets a player coming off the field.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy greets a player coming off the field. Bieniemy is among the potential candidates for the Chargers’ head-coaching job.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

His name has surfaced in recent days regarding offensive coordinator positions around the NFL. A report Friday said Lynn and the Seattle Seahawks have been in contact.

The Chargers also have parted ways with Bradley, who was their defensive coordinator the last four years. He moved on to the same position with the Raiders.

Bradley took two of Lynn’s former assistants with him — linebackers coach Richard Smith and defensive backs coach Ron Milus.

Another Chargers assistant, Pep Hamilton, appears to be a popular target as a possible offensive coordinator elsewhere. He spent 2020 as the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach.

The Chargers also have interviewed Indianapolis defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Carolina offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

The Chargers met recently with Arthur Smith, the offensive coordinator for Tennessee, but Smith was hired as the Atlanta Falcons’ head coach on Friday.

Urban Meyer agreed to become head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.

Jan. 14, 2021


Along with the Chargers, the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans are without head coaches. The Lions reportedly will hire New Orleans assistant Dan Campbell once the Saints’ season is over.

Telesco estimated that the Chargers would interview eight to 12 candidates and offered no timetable for making a final decision.

This will be his third head-coaching hire in eight years with the Chargers. Mike McCoy was 27-37 in four seasons before being dismissed and replaced by Lynn on Jan. 13, 2017.