Chargers fire OC Joe Lombardi following playoff collapse vs. Jaguars

The Los Angeles Chargers fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi on Tuesday, three days after the team’s colossal playoff collapse in Jacksonville, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported, per sources.

Pelissero also reported Chargers passing game coordinator/QBs coach Shane Day has also been fired by the club.

The team later confirmed the news on Tuesday.

All signs point to head coach Brandon Staley staying put — he is scheduled to address the media on Wednesday — but change needed to be made following the Chargers’ 31-30 season-ending Super Wild Card Weekend loss to the Jaguars. Moving on from Lombardi is that change, and it’s not all that surprising following a disappointing offensive season for the Bolts that was punctuated by a listless final showing.

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The 51-year-old Lombardi is gone after two seasons as the Chargers’ offensive coordinator, and Los Angeles will begin the search for a new OC whose top task will be ushering along the career of superstar quarterback Justin Herbert.

L.A. scored a measly three points in the second half on Saturday, which saw Jacksonville pull off the third-largest comeback in postseason history. In total, the Chargers had just 320 yards and three touchdowns in a game in which their defense forced five turnovers.

Scrutiny followed Lombardi throughout the 2022 season, though.

Lombardi was previously the Detroit Lions OC from 2014-15 and otherwise spent 11 seasons as an offensive assistant over two stints with the New Orleans Saints. But almost from the start of his tenure in L.A., questions emerged as to if he properly utilized Herbert.

L.A. struggled throughout 2022 in the running game, rarely found consistent production and Herbert’s long arm was often relegated to too many short throws for the liking of most.

A look inside the numbers shows Lombardi’s offense finished 13th in points scored and ninth in yards in 2022. However, the running game was 30th in yards, with Herbert being tasked too often with being a one-man band. He had a career-high 699 passing attempts (fourth all time), but a career-low 25 touchdown passes and 6.9 yards per attempt.

Herbert threw for 5,014 yards and 38 TDs in 2021 — his first season with Lombardi. But the burgeoning talent took a step backward in Lombardi’s offense in 2022.

Even with a playoff berth, calls for Lombardi’s departure grew and general manager Tom Telesco and Staley answered.

Improvements to the offensive line are a must and health to the wide receiver corps was a detriment all year, so a new OC will not cure all ills. But at least one change has been made by the Chargers.

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