Schottenheimer forced to replace five coaches

With the departure of Wade Phillips to Dallas as the Cowboys' new head coach, San Diego has now lost five assistants, including both coordinators, since the end of its 2006 season less than a month ago.

In addition to Phillips, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was named the Miami Dolphins' new head coach, tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski was hired as the offensive coordinator in Cleveland, linebackers coach Greg Manusky is the new defensive coordinator in San Francisco and assistant strength and conditioning coach Matt Schiotz left earlier this week to join Cameron's staff as the Dolphins' primary strength coach.

That's a remarkable brain drain in a very short period of time and, despite the talent on the Chargers' roster, such a widespread staff shake-up could evoke a disastrous setback. It likely will mean that head coach Marty Schottenheimer, who arguably granted his coordinators more freedom in 2006 than ever before, will have to be increasingly hands-on in 2007.