The writing has been on the wall for Lombardi essentially all season and there are two big reasons why.
The first is very obvious. This dude has no idea how to coordinate a run game. In 2021, the Chargers had the 21st ranked run game and in 2022, they had the 30th. This is all with Austin Ekeler in the backfield, who is one of the best dual use backs in the game.
The second is that he has had ZERO creativity in the passing game. He would run essentially the same 4 plays all game long.
And that fact wasn't noticed only by fans and analysts. It was picked up on by opposing DCs as well.
Here is a great breakdown if you want a peek into why Chargers fans have been so enraged with him this year.
Anyway, that is all now in the past. The big question is who do the Chargers bring in to replace him? There should be no shortage of candidates that want to come in and work with Herbert, but they NEED to make the right choice because cap is about to become a massive issue once he is extended. My personal choice? Joe Brady.
Brady was a disciple of Sean Payton at the Saints, was Burrow's passing game coordinator at LSU and was also mentored by Joe Moorhead who was Herbert's OC at Oregon. He was the Bills QB coach this yea and is beloved by pretty much everyone in the organization as well as fans. A young guy that can be creative in the passing game is exactly what this offense needs. No more conservative intermediate routes. No more shit running (I'm assuming he would bring in his own run game staff). And wayyyy more aggression downfield for the QB with a Bazooka for an arm.
There are other options around like Frank Reich, who was obviously the Chargers OC a few years ago and would presumably come at a discount since the Colts are paying him for the next 4 years or whatever. Brian Johnson, who has turned Hurts into a monster as a the Eagles QB coach. And maybe Mike LaFleur, who was essentially playing with scraps at the QB position with the Jets. But Brady is just the perfect fit.
There are a few barriers for whoever steps into the position. The Chargers WR room has a disturbing lack of speed and are locked into two $20 APY receivers in Keenan and Williams who are not burners at all. Josh Palmer doesn't fit that role either, and maybe the only guy in the core that does, Jalen Guyton, is coming off a torn ACL. There will be some restructuring this offseason without a doubt, but they wont be able to afford to burn cash on another WR or TE. Besides, who is even the best option out of this group?
DJ Chark I guess?? And they can't spend $10 mil on him. It would be cool if they could somehow get one of the solid receiving UFA TEs like Gesicki or Schultz, but they're both going to have roughly that same asking price. The easier option will be going through the draft and there is one guy that I think answers that need: Jalin Hyatt.
6', 4.31 40-yard dash(allegedly). FEED ME HIM. There are other problems on the roster that need addressing, but lets think back. The Bengals offensive line let Joe Burrow get MURDERED and analysts shit on them for drafting Ja'Marr Chase, now look at them (not saying Hyatt is close to that level but just an example). Giving Herbert a legitimate vertical threat instead of forcing him to dink and dunk his way through short routes and 50/50 balls would make me a very happy camper.