Staley to return as Chargers coach; Lombardi fired as OC

Jan 16, 2023, 9:52 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2023, 11:54 am
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley responds to questions after an NFL football game aga...

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley responds to questions after an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

              Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley wears a T-shirt to show support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley responds to questions after an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Brandon Staley will be back for a third season as the Los Angeles Chargers head coach.

The same can not be said for some of his offensive staff.

The team on Tuesday announced that offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day have been fired after two years.

Staley has a 19-16 record, including playoffs, in his two seasons. He led the Chargers to their first playoff appearance since 2018 with a 10-7 regular-season mark.

The Chargers fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-30 in Saturday’s AFC wild-card round game after blowing the third-largest lead in postseason history.

Los Angeles was up 27-0 late in the second quarter before the Jaguars rallied.

Criticism about Lombardi’s play-calling increased throughout the season. The Chargers were ranked ninth in total offense, but 20th in scrimmage yards per play along with the third-worst rushing attack in the league.

Los Angeles also had the NFL’s second-biggest discrepancy between passing and running plays (65% pass to 35% run).

Lombardi and the offensive staff also were unable to respond to halftime adjustments. The Chargers were outscored 103-52 in the third quarter, including the playoffs. They also only scored one touchdown in the third quarter in the final 13 games.

Staley praised Lombardi late in the regular season for his ability to adjust to changes because of injuries. DeAndre Carter was the only wide receiver who played all 18 games while there were two games where both Mike Williams and Keenan Allen did not play.

Allen missed seven of the first nine games because of a hamstring injury. Williams was sidelined for five, including four because of an ankle injury.

Left tackle Rashawn Slater suffered a season-ending biceps injury in Week 3 and center Corey Linsley was out for three games because of various injuries.

Justin Herbert was second in the league in completions (477) and passing yards (4,739) this season, but was slowed most of the first half of the season after suffering torn rib cartilage after taking a hit during a Week 2 game at Kansas City.

Staley though also noted that he was looking for the unit to turn the corner going into the postseason since the team was mostly healthy.

“Now that we are almost to full strength, we have to make the improvements to be playing our best at the end. I think that is what we are searching for right now is to find a rhythm where we can score the ball at a higher level and be more explosive as a football team,” Staley said on Dec. 28.

It is the second time Lombardi has not made it to a third season as an offensive coordinator. He was fired in Detroit midway through his second year in 2015.

Herbert, who will be going into his fourth season in 2023, will have his third offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the NFL. Shane Steichen directed the Bolts offense as well as being QBs coach under Anthony Lynn in 2020 before Lynn was fired at the end of the season.

The Chargers though stumbled down the stretch for the second straight season.

Staley went into the playoffs under fire after Williams suffered a season-ending back injury in the meaningless regular-season finale at Denver.

Last season, the Chargers dropped three of their final four games to miss out on the postseason. In the 35-32 overtime loss at Las Vegas in Week 18, Staley called a late timeout when the Raiders were content to play for a tie, which would have put the Chargers in the playoffs.

Players though rallied to the defense of their coach after the loss to the Jaguars, saying Staley is still learning as a head coach.

“He’s a fresh head coach in this league. To expect he’s going to know everything right away is kind of silly,” linebacker Joey Bosa said. “I think we need to just keep building. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

Owner Dean Spanos is also expected to retain Tom Telesco as general manager.

The Chargers have yet to win a division title during Telesco’s 10 seasons as general manager and have only been to the playoffs three times in his tenure. Telesco, who said before the start of the season that the true measuring stick of a GM is wins and losses, has an 81-86 record. The Bolts’ .485 winning percentage since 2013 is 19th.

“I feel like we need to be able to finish late in the season,” safety Derwin James said. “The teams that can do it in December and January, that’s when it really matters.”

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives as Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the f...
Associated Press

Young scores 27 to lead Hawks past Jazz, 115-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trae Young had 27 points and six assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 115-108 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. De’Andre Hunter scored 26 points for the Hawks. Onyeka Okongwu had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 13 points and eight assists. Atlanta […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots a three point basket as Houston Rockets forward Jae...
Associated Press

VanVleet has 32 as Raptors get 117-111 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 32 points, Gary Trent Jr. added 29 and the Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game skid with a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Raptors took a commanding lead in the third quarter and were up by double-digits for most of the fourth. But five straight […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Monte Morr...
Associated Press

Blazers rally from 20 down to end Wizards’ win streak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 20-point deficit, snapping Washington’s six-game winning streak Friday night with a 124-116 victory over the Wizards. Simons made six of Portland’s nine 3-pointers in the third, and the Trail Blazers finally caught and […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled as he drives to the basket against San Antonio...
Associated Press

Embiid’s double-double keys 76ers as Spurs drop 8th straight

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat San Antonio 137-125 on Friday night, sending the scuffling Spurs to their eighth straight loss. Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and James Harden added 16 for Philadelphia, which has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. “Tonight was […]
1 day ago
A scrum breaks out between Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic players during the second half ...
Associated Press

Fight between Magic, Timberwolves leads to 5 players ejected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A fight broke out and punches were thrown during the game between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Five players were ejected following the brawl, which started in front of the Orlando bench late in the third quarter. Minnesota guard Austin Rivers and Magic center Mo Bamba were the […]
1 day ago
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) stands on the ice during the NHL All Star Skills Showcase, F...
Associated Press

NHL takes skills showcase outside, McDavid shines inside

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sidney Crosby got dunked into a tank of water, Nick Suzuki holed a golf ball with a hockey stick and the NHL made hockey an outdoor sport for its skills showcase in South Florida. Two new events outside in the sun highlighted the league’s annual skills competition at All-Star Weekend, with […]
1 day ago
Staley to return as Chargers coach; Lombardi fired as OC