Chargers Interview Mike Macdonald For HC Position

Add the Chargers to the ever-growing list of teams interested in Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. Los Angeles announced that it has conducted a head coaching interview with the popular DC.

As shown in our head coaching tracker, Macdonald has either been interviewed by, or is expected to be interviewed by, six of the eight teams that have had HC vacancies since the regular season ended. The only teams that have not expressed interest in Macdonald are the Raiders — who have yet to conduct any HC interviews, as they want to finalize their GM position first — and the Patriots, who simply promoted Jerod Mayo to their head coaching position following Bill Belichick‘s departure, pursuant to succession language in Mayo’s contract.

The intrigue surrounding Macdonald is easy enough to understand. The 36-year-old has served as Baltimore’s DC in each of the past two years, and the Ravens’ defense has thrived under his watch. The club finished sixth in total defense in 2023 after finishing 10th in that category in 2022; first in scoring defense in 2023 (third in 2022); first in takeaways in 2023 (10th in 2022); and first in defensive DVOA in 2023 (eighth in 2022). Baltimore also led the league in sacks this season despite not having a premier edge rusher on the roster.

Furthermore, young players like Kyle Hamilton and Justin Madubuike have become stars in Macdonald’s system, while veteran also-rans like Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy, and Arthur Maulet have rejuvenated their careers. And while Macdonald is not the young offensive mind that clubs have sought out in recent seasons, the success of DeMeco Ryans in Houston this year has proven that a young, defensive-minded coach works just as well if that person is a strong leader.

Of course, not all job opportunities are created equal, and candidates like Macdonald who may have multiple options could shy away from a team like the Panthers, who have ownership and quarterback concerns. On the other hand, the Chargers’ opening is generally considered one of the most appealing, thanks largely to the presence of QB Justin Herbert. Indeed, current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, long linked to the Los Angeles gig, has reportedly told his associates that he might leave Ann Arbor for the Chargers.

One factor working against Macdonald’s candidacy for the Chargers’ post is the fact that he would be a first-time HC. The last three head coaches hired by the San Diego/Los Angeles franchise have been first-timers, the latest of whom (Brandon Staley) also had a defensive background. While it is not surprising that owner Dean Spanos wanted to sit down with Macdonald, it would also not be surprising to see Spanos opt for a more experienced, offensive-minded candidate.

Interestingly, Los Angeles has also interviewed Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken and has requsted a GM interview with Baltimore’s director of player personnel, Joe Hortiz.

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