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Chargers legend Shawne Merriman says Bill Belichick would be his 'last' pick for coaching job in Los Angeles

Chargers legend Shawne Merriman says Bill Belichick would be his ‘last’ pick for coaching job in Los Angeles

Tooba Shakir 4 months ago 0 2

With Belichick clinching the worst record of his coaching career Sunday with a loss to the Buffalo Bills, his departure from the New England Patriots seems all but certain. 

While a number of teams will be looking for new head coaches for next season, Chargers legend Shawne Merriman doesn’t believe Los Angeles is the place for Belichick. 

Shawne Merriman at the 2019 NFL draft

Former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman announces the 60th pick during the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft April 26, 2019, in downtown Nashville.   (Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“No, he’s not and for a lot of reasons,” Merriman said on OutKick’s “Hot Mic” when asked if the NFL coach would be his first pick for the Chargers following Brandon Staley’s departure. 

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“Don’t get me wrong, and I want to take his past resumé. We all know how great of a coach Bill Belichick is. I don’t know, in my opinion, if you bring in somebody like Bill Belichick right now, that it’s going to guarantee a turnaround, a success.” 

Merriman, who played with the Chargers from 2005-2010 and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year, explained that the biggest hurdle a new coach will have to overcome is maintaining some level of consistency. 

“You’ve got these superstars on a team. Somebody has to come in and win right now. And if Bill Belichick is going to come in and bring his whole entire staff, or hire his own people, you’ve got Justin Herbert and all these guys playing for three and four different coordinators over the past few years,” Merriman said.  

“That is a lot of turnover. And you know Bill Belichick is going to want to come in and call the shots, bring all his people in. I doubt very seriously if he keeps anybody on that staff. So, you’re talking about a big turnover. So, he wouldn’t be my first. He would probably be my last, to be quite honest.” 

Bill Belichick vs Chargers

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during a game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium Dec. 3, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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So, who would Merriman hope to see on the sidelines instead? 

“It would be Jim. It would be Jim Harbaugh,” he said. 

The All-Pro linebacker pointed to Harbaugh’s success on offense but explained that who Harbaught would choose to bring in on defense would be the defining factor in the Chargers’ success next season. 

“He’s done well with quarterbacks. He’s done extremely well when he’s had talented quarterbacks,” he said. “It all depends on who he brings in as a defensive coordinator because, in my opinion, the last couple of games of the Chargers season, it’s been the offense.” 

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During the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching search last season, Harbaugh was reportedly in talks with the team at some level. In early January 2023, amid all the media speculation, he released a statement saying he would remain with Michigan. 

Jim Harbaugh and JJ McCarthy

J.J. McCarthy (9) celebrates with head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines after the Rose Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide Jan. 1, 2024, in Pasadena, Calif.  (Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

“I love the relationships that I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, President Santa Ono and especially the players and their families. My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go blue!” 

But things are different this year. Harbaugh, embattled with an alleged sign-stealing scandal, was forced to sit out the final three games of the Wolverines’ undefeated season. Back on the sidelines, he led the team to the CFP national championship game with hopes of winning Michigan’s first title since 1997. 

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Speculation about his return to the NFL has again picked up. 

“If you got an opportunity at Jim Harbaugh, you do it,” Merriman said. “Pull the trigger and bring him in. [Then] let’s talk about the defensive side of the football because that is the most important part of what’s going to hold this team back because we know what they could do on the offensive side of the ball.” 

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