Chargers hire Jesse Minter as DC, reportedly tab Greg Roman to run offense

Jim Harbaugh reportedly has his offensive and defensive coordinators for the Los Angeles Chargers lined up, and both are familiar faces.

Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter has finalized a long-anticipated agreement to follow Harbaugh to the Chargers, the team announced Tuesday. 

Additionally, NFL Media reported that Harbaugh has also finalized the addition of Greg Roman as offensive coordinator.

Minter, whose work building Michigan’s defense into one of the best in the country and the engine behind the 2023 Wolverines national championship run, posted a farewell to Michigan on Wednesday evening. Minter’s unit led FBS in total defense in 2023, allowing just 247.0 yards per game.

Ever since the Chargers hired Harbaugh on Jan. 24, Minter was widely expected to follow his boss to the NFL instead of staying with new Michigan head coach Sherrone Moore. Minter spent several years as a Baltimore Ravens assistant under Jim’s brother John Harbaugh before joining Vanderbilt as defensive coordinator in 2021 and then arriving at Michigan the following year.

FOX Sports lead college football analyst Joel Klatt posted on social media immediately after the news of Harbaugh’s return to the NFL that he expected Minter to also join the Chargers, and later explained why on “The Joel Klatt Show.” 

“He’s always wanted to get back to the NFL and test himself on the highest level,” Klatt said.

Who will stay at Michigan and who will follow Jim Harbaugh to the Chargers?

Who will stay at Michigan and who will follow Jim Harbaugh to the Chargers?

Minter reportedly told Michigan players soon after Jim Harbaugh’s departure and Moore’s subsequent promotion that he would also depart the Wolverines for the Chargers. Harbaugh and Minter are also bringing well-regarded Michigan defensive line coach Mike Elston to serve in the same role with the Chargers, per NFL Media.

As for Roman, he was also heavily connected to the Chargers after Jim Harbaugh’s hiring, but has a more polarizing reputation. While running the San Francisco 49ers’ offense during Jim’s tenure there, he helped Colin Kaepernick blossom into a dangerous dual-threat quarterback using a run-heavy scheme that got the 49ers to a Super Bowl in 2012. Roman later joined John Harbaugh’s Ravens and, as offensive coordinator there, helped Lamar Jackson become NFL MVP using a similar run-first approach in 2019.

However, Roman’s offenses grew stale in both San Francisco and Baltimore, and he also struggled in a two-year stint with the Buffalo Bills in between those tenures. Roman resigned from the Ravens in January 2023 amid growing criticism of the Ravens’ one-dimensional approach to their offense. Jackson is a heavy favorite to win his second NFL MVP this season while adapting to a more pass-heavy scheme under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

It remains to be seen how Roman will mesh with current Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who is more of a traditional pocket passer with one of the strongest arms in the NFL. The Chargers also have major questions at running back, a key staple of Roman’s offense, after Austin Ekeler declined in the second half of last season.

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