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Changing the “Chargering”…NFL Franchise Hires National Championship Winning Coach

James Coller
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh plays catch with Tom Brady before Michigan’s 45-28 victory over Colorado on September 17, 2016. (James Coller/Maize and Blue Nation)

Seconds wind down the clock, each tick making the Michigan Wolverines closer to immortality in 2024, winning a championship for the first time in 27 years. A lot of that has to do with a man who has been patronized since he first joined Michigan: head coach Jim Harbaugh. After the game, Jim Harbaugh tried to put questions to bed about his future, with him telling reporters that he wanted to focus on the here and now. Rightly so for Harbaugh, a coach that had initially struggled at Michigan, however, patience proved fruitful as he was able to get over the hump and ended up winning three Big Ten titles in a row, and now a National Championship. However, Harbaugh has now decided to return to the NFL, with his destination being sunny Los Angeles, to try to fix the Chargers. 

For the Chargers, it was a season that began with promise but quickly turned into a nightmare finishing 5-12, last in the AFC West. Embattled head coach Branden Staley could not have survived the season after a disastrous game against the Las Vegas Raiders losing 63-21 in primetime on Thursday Night Football, however, many argue that Staley’s demise had been set in stone months earlier. After ending last season with a befuddling loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card, where the Chargers blew a 27-point lead, Staley was already on the hot seat. Combine that with an underachieving defense, and the narrative that Staley was wasting quarterback Justin Herbert’s talent, it wasn’t surprising to see Staley let go without seeing out the season. 

Talent is an understatement when it comes to Justin Herbert, who has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The 25-year-old out of Oregon finished the year despite dealing with injuries and bad coaching, with a 65% completion percentage, over 3,000 yards passing, and over a 90 passer rating. Last year, without finishing the year on IR (Injured Reserve) Herbert finished with over 4,000 passing yards, a 68% completion percentage, and 25 touchdowns. Catapulting him into elite quarterback status. Even other players on the Chargers roster make it hard to believe how badly this team grossly underachieved. All-Pros like Keenan Allen, Derwin James, Joey Bosa, and Kahlil Mack (coming off a career year) are all on this roster, making it one of the most talented in the NFL. 

Now, in comes Jim Harbaugh, a proven winner coming off a season where he led Michigan to glory with a National Championship. Harbaugh has had success everywhere, beginning when he led the University of San Diego to two Pioneer Conference Championships. He then took his talents to Stanford where he won the school’s first major bowl game in the BCS era. Staying in Santa Clara, Harbaugh took control of the 49ers, leading them to three straight NFC Championship games and making a Super Bowl appearance in the process. After his mentioned successful stint at Michigan, Harbaugh finds himself back in California, coaching for a team he played when he was in his playing career.   

Things won’t be easy, the Chargers lack depth and have an aging roster to some degree, along with a cap space that as it stands is sitting at -45 million roughly. However, if there is anything Coach Harbaugh has proven over his coaching career, it’s that he is a winner, so pairing him with one of the league’s best young quarterbacks, Harbaugh should be the right step to success.

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About the Contributor
Julian Zolenski
Julian Zolenski, Staff Writer
Julian Zolenski is a Senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is his second year being on the Hawk Herald Staff. Julian enjoys a number of different things about his busy life including working as a line cook, playing with his dog, and hanging out with his friends. Right now Julian has a dream of being a Sports Commentator. He intends to accomplish this goal by majoring in Broadcast Journalism in his college future. Julian knows this is a lofty goal, but he will not let anything stop him from accomplishing it.   
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