Greg Roman and Jesse Minter join Jim Harbaugh's Chargers coaching staff

Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter walks on the sideline during a game against East Carolina in September.
Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter walks on the sideline during a game against East Carolina in September. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

It's no question Jim Harbaugh was hired by the Chargers to maximize the skills of quarterback Justin Herbert, but he'll also need to fix the team's glaring defensive issues.

That's where Jesse Minter comes in. The former Michigan defensive coordinator has reached an agreement with the Chargers and will be tasked with reviving a defensive unit that ranked 28th in yards allowed per game (362.9) and 24th in points allowed per game (23.4).

Joining Minter on the sideline will be Greg Roman, the longtime offensive guru who served as Harbaugh's offensive coordinator during his last NFL coaching stint with the San Francisco 49ers a decade ago. He joins the Chargers as their new offensive coordinator, a position he held under John Harbaugh in Baltimore for four seasons (2019-22).

Read more: Plaschke: Chargers hiring Jim Harbaugh is a bolt of brilliance

While Roman was overseeing the Ravens' offense, quarterback Lamar Jackson earned an NFL MVP award in 2019. Roman's history with Jim Harbaugh stretches to his coaching days at Stanford, where Roman served as an associate head coach.

Minter spent the last two years at Michigan, helping Harbaugh mold the defense into college football's best. The Wolverines were the top-ranked defense in college football last year, giving up 10.4 points per game and 247 yards per game. Before joining the Wolverines, Minter worked as an assistant under John Harbaugh in Baltimore and spent one season as Vanderbilt's defensive coordinator.

Most of the Chargers' veteran defensive core should be back for 2024. Still, the team is expected to make some significant changes once new general manager Joe Hortiz gets to work — the team is sitting $40 million over the projected salary cap, per

As a result, Minter could inherit a revamped defensive corps. Tackle Austin Johnson, linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr, cornerback Michael Davis and safety Alohi Gilman are among the notable unrestricted free agents who could be cap casualties.

Read more: Hernández: Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce is a cliché queen-football star romance that America loves

After opening the season optimistic they would improve on defense in 2023, it became obvious to Chargers players at the beginning of a season-dooming 1-8 stretch in November that something wasn't right.

“We sit in the film room week after week fixing the same mistakes.” Chargers cornerback Ja'Sir Taylor said Nov. 15 after losing to the Detroit Lions.

Roman will look to help Herbert and the offense reach new levels in 2024. The Chargers ranked 17th in total offense (329.4 yards per game) last season, with their biggest deficiencies coming from a beleaguered running game that ranked 25th in the league (96.6 yards per game).

With the possibility of the Chargers not re-signing unrestricted free agent Austin Ekeler, it'll be up to Roman and Harbaugh to orchestrate a turnaround.

Get the best, most interesting and strangest stories of the day from the L.A. sports scene and beyond from our newsletter The Sports Report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.