Takeaways from new Chargers coaching staff

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Gavino Borquez
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New Chargers head coach Brandon Staley introduced his first coaching staff on Thursday.

The staff is headed by the coordinators: Joe Lombardi on offense, Renaldo Hill on defense and Derius Swinton II on special teams.

Offense: Lombardi comes to Los Angeles with plenty of years working with quarterback Drew Brees. While his time as the offensive coordinator for the Lions was considered a bust, he has learned from his stint. The plan is to mesh with worked for quarterback Justin Herbert last year and what Lombardi picked up from Sean Payton when he was in New Orleans.

Passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shane Day will also be vital to Herbert’s development after he had the luxury of learning under Pep Hamilton last season. Day coached under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, so he brings some experience under his system, which has had success in years prior.

Improving the offensive line will be a key focal point heading into the new season, and the additions of Frank Smith and Shane Sarrett are already a plus. Smith has worked with members of the Raiders and Saints. Meanwhile, Sarrett was responsible of grooming players on the Steelers offensive line, all of whom boasted some of the league’s top offensive lines.

The group is very diverse. Aside from quarterbacks, Day has coached offensive lineman, tight ends in his time coaching in the NFL. Smith worked with tight ends during his time in Las Vegas, aiding in the development of All-Pro TE Darren Waller.

Defense: Even though Hill has the title of defensive coordinator under his name, Staley will be the one responsible for calling the defensive plays. Nonetheless, he will bring his expertise with defensive backs to the team and will have an input on game days while Staley calls plays.

Los Angeles goes into the season with the intentions of playing in a 3-4 defense. Hill said that they don’t want the defense to entice offenses to throw on them, noting the high level of QB play in the NFL, adding they can do that by always showing a Cover 2 shell and changing post-snap.

Defending the pass will be a vital, but stopping the run will be just as important. Run game coordinator/outside linebackers coach Jay Rodgers is a key addition. Rodgers was responsible of working with the Bears and Broncos, both of whom boasted some of the league’s top defensive lines.

The new positional coaches have had plenty of success in the past with their perspective teams. Linebackers coach Michael Wilhoite had an integral role with the Saints. Secondary coach Derrick Ansley has worked with the Raiders and at the collegiate level, specifically with Tennessee and Alabama, including star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Defensive line coach Giff Smith was a member who was retained. Smith has played a role in the stardom of edge defender Joey Bosa.

Special Teams: Like the offensive line, this will be another focal point after finishing last in the league in this department. Swinton comes with plenty of experience as a special teams coordinator. Staley said the goal is to try to model the game management method that he became familiar with he was with the Cardinals. Also brought on was Mayur Chaudhari, who had success during his time with the Falcons.