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  • Writer's pictureAndres Escandon

Chargers should do this with Kellen Moore in 2024.

Moore's continuity in 2024 could depend on the new Chargers Head Coach.

After the Chargers lost one of the most embarrassing games in their history against the Jaguars in the Wild Card round, and a 2022 year where the offense did not peak, the owners fired Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi. He was not only accused of that defeat, but also of a conservative offensive, which never exploited Justin Herbert's arm strength. The Chargers found the solution in Kellen Moore. Such was the interest, that Moore was hired just one day after being fired by the Cowboys.

Although the Cowboys offense failed in the divisional round in San Francisco, Moore built an elite offense. According to ESPN's Todd Archer, the Cowboys' offense was among the top 10 in the NFL in 3 of his 4 years as Offensive Coordinator, being the best offense in total yards in 2019 and 2021. Although Prescott missed several games in 2022, Moore got the best out of backup quarterback Cooper Rush, and they finished the season 4th in points per game and 11th in total yards.

Kellen Moore with the Chargers in 2023

Video from Pro Football Talk about Kellen Moore and Justin Herbert's chemistry.

When looking for Lombardi's replacement, then Head Coach Brandon Staley spoke about "marrying the running game with the passing game", referring to finding an offensive balance. Having a successful passing offense, they had lacked a consistent running game for the past years. Pairing up Moore with Justin Herbert seemed electrifying at first, considered an upgrade over Prescott. It was said that Herbert would throw more long passes, and that Moore would reduce Lombardi's short passes strategy.

Kellen Moore seemed like the one, considering the Ezekiel Elliot-Tony Pollard duo success in Dallas. Although Ekeler and company ran for more than 200 yards in the first game of the 2023 season, it was never the same. The running backs did not contribute anything from Week 2 on. In fact, they finished the season in 25th in rushing yards.

Although the passing offense was not always the best, the media has criticized it too much. Herbert not only finished with a rating of 93.2, but was sensational in tight losses against the Dolphins, Titans, Lions, and Packers. Let's also consider Mike Williams' season-ending injury. Even Easton Stick, the inexperienced quarterback who replaced Herbert after his injury, passed for more than 200 yards in every game he started and was intercepted only once. Stick's performance is even more admirable considering that Pro-Bowl receiver Keenan Allen and fellow receiver Joshua Palmer were out due to injury.

Fortunately for Kellen Moore, the most recurring accusations of this season's failure were towards Staley and the defense, and to this day he still retains his position as Offensive Coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Kellen Moore as Offensive Coordinator in 2024

The fate of Kellen Moore in 2024 is an interesting topic, as the possibilities range from being considered for Chargers or another franchise's Head Coach, to being fired and settling for a coordinator vacancy on another team. For example, LA Times's Sam Farmer commented that Moore would be interviewed for the Chargers Head Coach vacancy. He has also been mentioned as a candidate for the Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders. Moore's critics, such as Jason Reed from Bolt Beat, argue that he hasn't earned a head coaching vacancy for 2024.

Although Moore is not among my top Head Coach candidates as he does not have previous head coaching experience, the Chargers should keep him as their Offensive Coordinator for 2024. The players admire him, as he finished 5th in the category of Offensive Coordinators in an NFL Players Association survey, as seen below.

Moore's situation was not the best with Brandon Staley. As Staley contributed to the poor player performance, the same happened with the coaching staff. For instance, Jim Harbaugh or Bill Belichick would bring leadership and stability, and Moore would have the support to fix the 2023 offensive deficiencies. Another discussion is whether Harbaugh or Belichick, with their personality and winning track, would keep Moore as his Offensive Coordinator. I would give Harbaugh enough freedom, as he is an offensive mind and one who has had recent success. Although I'd ask for Belichick's opinion, it would be a red flag if he wanted to bring in Bill O'Brien, Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia, who have failed recently.

I would also keep Moore for Herbert's sake. Having gone through three Offensive Coordinators in his first four years, it is best for Herbert to stick with him. Both worked well in 2023 (even running more times than other seasons), and I am excited to think about Herbert's potential with better head coaching. That may actually be his wish, as he mentioned that "Kellen has done a great job" and that he "believes in Kellen" in last Monday's interview. Justin is also interested in being part of taking staff decisions.

Despite the mediocre running game, and the potential power of the new Head Coach, it is hard to get rid of Kellen Moore. He has displayed competency with better leadership in Dallas. Also, players believe in him and Herbert would benefit from not having to learn his fourth offense.

What do you think the Chargers should do with Kellen Moore?


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