Chargers hire Kellen Moore to be their offensive coordinator
February 2, 2023
In a move that happened in less than 24 hours, the Los Angeles Chargers have agreed to terms with Kellen Moore to become their next offensive coordinator. Moore sent the past four years in the same position for the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, released this statement on Sunday evening: “I want to thank Kellen for his deep commitment, hard work and dedication that were a core part of his time with the Cowboys,” McCarthy said. “We wish Kellen and his wife, Julie, and their family the absolute best as they set out on the next chapter of their lives."
By the next morning, the Chargers had hired Moore as their next offensive coordinator. Moore is considered a top offensive play caller. Moore was rated by Pro Football Focus (PFF) as the second-best offensive coordinator in the NFL, behind Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. He has also been labeled the best pure OC in the NFL.
Moore coordinated a Dallas offense that was the NFL’s best in 2021, leading the league in total offense (407.0 net yards per game) and scoring offense (31.2 points per game). In four seasons as offensive coordinator, Moore’s unit ranked No. 2 in the NFL in total offense (391.0 net yards per game) and scoring (27.7 points per game).
Moore will turn 35 in July, and is younger than the Chargers current backup quarterback, Chase Daniel, who will turn 37 in October. Daniel is an unrestricted free agent and is likely done with the Chargers and he may be retiring.
Moore will have a lot in common with his starting quarterback. Charger starting quarterback Justin Herbert grew up in the Northwest in Oregon, playing his high school football in Eugene, Oregon, and college football at the University of Oregon. Moore grew up in Prosser, Washington. Played his high school football at Prosser high school and college football at Boise State University.
Moore was 50-3 as a started at Boise State and is the winningest quarterback in the history of college football. In 1,658 passing attempts, he threw just 28 interceptions, the NCAA record for lowest percentage of passes intercepted in a career. Moore was known as a smart and accurate quarterback at Boise State. He is the son of a high school football coach.
The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi after the team's playoff collapse in the wild-card round on Jan. 14, which resulted in the Chargers blowing a 27-0 second quarter lead and losing, 31-30. They had interviewed several candidates, but once Moore became available, the Chargers wasted no time in interviewing and hiring him.
Why Kellen Moore? Because of the potential of the Charger offense led by Herbert. The high-flying Charger offense became stale in 2022. It looked predictable. It became a check-down, dink-and-dunk passing attack that struggled to run the football.
The Charger pass-play percentage last season was 65.09%, behind only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 67.88%. The Cowboys pass-play percentage was 52.70%. The Cowboys had an offense that was balanced.
Moore has a reputation for being multiple in his offensive schemes, using motion and shifts that are specific to each play. A Kellen Moore offense will give a defense a variety of looks. With the Cowboys, he had talented wide receivers with speed, tight ends that got separation and one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.
Moore talked about his offensive philosophy at his press conference on Wednesday. “From an offensive perspective, you take bits and pieces from everyone, and I think that’s the beauty of it,” Moore said. “We’re going to build a 2023 L.A. Chargers offense. Will you be able to see the Air Coryell, Jason Garrett side? Absolutely. Will you see the West Coast, Mike McCarthy side? Absolutely. We’ll keep things that are in place here that Justin feels really, really good about. Then, we’re willing to explore.”
Why would Kellen Moore want to move on from the Dallas Cowboys? The opportunity to coach a talent like Justin Herbert is rare. There are not a lot of quarterbacks with his physical talents, his intelligence, and his work ethic. Herbert is only 24 years of age and has thrown for more yardage in his first three seasons than any quarterback in NFL history. Moore can help Herbert and the Chargers get to the next level.
Moore talked about the opportunity to work with Herbert. “Justin, we know the physical talent,” Moore said. “He obviously does a tremendous job. I think it’s been really cool to watch him, from a fundamental perspective, as he’s gone from Oregon into the NFL and transitioned and started playing under center — he has done such a phenomenal job of that — and the play-action game, the movement game. We know his ability to throw it down the field. I’m just really, really excited to be able to work with him and, hopefully, help him in some way as he continues to build the career that he is going to have.”