Two days after hiring Tom Telesco, the former Indianapolis Colts vice president of football operations, as the team's general manager, the San Diego Chargers will reportedly interview several head coaching candidates during the next several days.
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Former Bears coach Lovie Smith will meet with the Chargers on Friday, according to NFL.com. The Chargers also are expected to interview former Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday and meet with Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, according to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Whisenhunt was a candidate for the head coach opening with the Browns before Cleveland hired former Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski on Thursday.
“We're looking for a teacher, we're looking for a guy who can communicate and we're looking for a leader,” Telesco said on Wednesday during his introductory news conference. “The head coach is basically the CEO of the players and the coaching staff. It doesn't matter to me what area he comes from whether it's offense or defense.”
Smith has a reputation for being a defensive guru. In more than 20 years as an assistant coach, Smith worked exclusively on the defensive side. The Rams ranked third in the NFL in total defense in 2001 when Smith was the team's defensive coordinator. The Chargers could switch from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 if Smith is hired.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, ran a 3-4 defense under Whisenhunt. In six seasons under Whisenhunt, the Cardinals never finished higher than 16th in the league on defense.
San Diego also reportedly met with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Thursday, NFL.com reported. Seattle is ranked fourth in total defense and sixth against the pass.
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