FEBRUARY 7: The Chargers have officially hired Roman, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The veteran coach is also expected to be named offensive coordinator. This will be Roman’s fourth crack as an NFL OC. He served in that capacity for the 49ers (under Jim Harbaugh) and Ravens (under John), along with the Bills.
FEBRUARY 5: Former NFL offensive coordinator Greg Roman is on the cusp of making a return to the NFL as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that he is expected to join the Chargers in a prominent capacity. Roman is not only going to be rejoining the NFL, he will also be joining the staff of a Harbaugh in the NFL for the third time in his career.
After spending the 2023 season away from the NFL following his resignation from Baltimore’s offensive coordinator position under John Harbaugh, Roman is primed to return to the league under John’s younger brother, Jim Harbaugh. Jim is fresh off a National Championship victory with the Michigan Wolverines and, after years of anticipation, has finally decided to make the leap back to coaching at the NFL level in Los Angeles. With his return, the younger Harbaugh has opted to bring back a trusty coworker with whom he is very familiar.
Roman first started in the NFL as an offensive line assistant for the Panthers in their inaugural season back in 1995. After a four-year stint with the Texans that saw him coaching both the tight end and quarterback positions, Roman had his first job with the Ravens as an offensive line assistant under Brian Billick. Following his first stint with the Ravens and a one-year detour as a high school offensive coordinator in New Jersey, Roman found his first job under a Harbaugh with Jim as associate head coach at Stanford.
When Harbaugh made his first move to the NFL to coach the 49ers, he brought Roman along as his offensive coordinator. After a rumored power struggle led to Harbaugh’s departure from San Francisco, Roman accepted the offensive coordinator job at Buffalo under Rex Ryan. After a two-year stint with the Bills, Roman found his way back to Baltimore to work for the elder Harbaugh brother as a senior offensive assistant and tight ends coach, exchanging the “senior offensive assistant” for “assistant head coach” in his job title in his second year with the team.
Roman would be promoted to offensive coordinator in Baltimore following the retirement of Marty Mornhinweg. In a full offseason with a second-year Lamar Jackson determined as the starter with Joe Flacco newly departed, Roman and Jackson would help deliver the franchise’s winningest season in its history, with Jackson winning his first MVP award. The next two seasons would see similar success from Jackson when he was healthy but a complete inability to mold Jackson’s offense to his backups in an effective manner.
Eventually, after a series of disappointing postseason exits, Roman and the Ravens would mutually part ways. Roman’s stretches as an offensive coordinator have revealed interesting patterns. He has routinely been paired with dual-threat quarterbacks like Jackson, Colin Kaepernick, and Tyrod Taylor. He tends to see less and less success the longer he stays in one place with lots of attention being called to his red-zone play-calling.
Roman’s pairing with an offense led by quarterback Justin Herbert is an interesting prospect. He may not have the same influence on quarterbacks as he’s had in previous years and may be asked to help boost a rushing attack that finished 25th in the league in yards last year. Regardless, Roman is a trusted companion for the new Chargers head coach, and his return to the NFL will be interesting to watch in Los Angeles.