There are many reasons Anthony Lynn isn’t the Chargers head coach anymore, but he has proven he hasn’t learned from his biggest mistake.
During the 2020 offseason, the Los Angeles Chargers were faced with replacing quarterback Philip Rivers. Head coach Anthony Lynn remained committed to Tyrod Taylor over rookie Justin Herbert, with the lack of typical offseason and training camp/preseason as the convenient circumstance to lean toward the veteran.
Taylor started Week 1 against the Bengals, a narrow win for the Chargers. But he emerged from the game with a rib injury, and a botched pregame pain injection before Week 2 pressed Herbert into the lineup against the Chiefs on short notice. Even as Herbert showed he belonged in his first few starts, Lynn said Taylor would start when he was healthy. That tuned did change though.
All Herbert did in 15 games was set the rookie record for touchdown passes (31), and fall less than 40 yards short of setting the rookie passing yardage record with 4,336 yards. But a 7-9 record got Lynn fired after his fourth season as head coach, with the Chargers’ turning some wins into losses as they tend to do.
Anthony Lynn did not learn from his quarterback mistake
It may have only been a matter of time before Herbert took over as a rookie based on merit. But without that medical mishap, Taylor probably would have remained the Chargers’ starting quarterback if the team was winning games. That would have been malpractice by Lynn, but it appears his general tune on rookie quarterbacks has not changed.
Lynn is now the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator. During a video conference on Wednesday, he professed his desire to have a rookie quarterback sit.
“If he wins the battle in camp, he’s gotta play the best player,” Lynn said in a Wednesday video conference. “If you don’t, you’ll have a riot in the locker room. . . . If I can sit a rookie, I will. If I can.”
The Lions will trade Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff when the deal can become official in March. So Lynn will probably avoid having to call plays for a rookie quarterback, assuming the Lions draft one, said rookie doesn’t win the starting job in camp and Goff stays healthy.