The Chargers' failure to reach the playoffs has now seen a coach relieved of his duties.
Los Angeles fired special teams coordinator Derius Swinton II, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Friday.
An assistant in NFL circles since 2009, Swinton left Arizona to join the Chargers in 2021 and had just completed his first season with the team. There was hope Los Angeles would be better in special teams in 2021 with Swinton's arrival after the Chargers struggled mightily in that regard in 2020, but Los Angeles' special teams finished 28th in DVOA, per Football Outsiders.
The Chargers had to battle some early instability at kicker that began in training camp, when Los Angeles released Mike Badgley in favor of retaining Tristan Vizcaino. The winner of the kicker battle ended up losing his job because he also couldn't convert attempts, missing five extra-point tries and one field goal in his first six games.
Vizcaino's struggles prompted the Chargers to seek an experienced replacement, signing former Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins. The veteran made 18 of 20 kicks and converted 30 of 32 extra points, doing exactly what was asked of him when he arrived on the heels of his release from the only team he'd previously known.
In the return game, the Chargers received decent production from Andre Roberts, who fielded 19 kicks, returned them for an average of 32.8 yards and even took one kick back for a touchdown. The punt return game wasn't as productive, averaging 5.9 yards per return.
Ty Long's punting -- averaging 55 yards per punt -- could have been better, sure, but there are worse situations elsewhere.
The Chargers ended their season in thrilling, but heartbreaking fashion, falling to the Raiders in overtime in a win-and-in game on Sunday night. Hopkins missed one of his kick attempts (made one field goal, three extra points), but wasn't afforded an opportunity to use his foot to send the Chargers to the postseason. Los Angeles will attempt to get to the playoffs in 2022 with a new coach in charge of special teams.