Chargers' Anthony Lynn defends timing of Ken Whisenhunt firing

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn talked to reporters for the first time Wednesday since his team announced that offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt had been let go.

Lynn reiterated that he appreciated Whisenhunt's service, but believed the offense needed to go in a different direction.

"I just felt like it was time," Lynn said. "I mean, if I was eventually going to do it, why not just do it right now? We have eight weeks left in this season and we still have everything in front of us that we want."

Replacing Whisenhunt is 34-year-old Chargers quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen. The UNLV product has been with the Bolts (3-5) since 2011, when he started as a defensive assistant, and rose through the ranks over the past nine seasons to become the coach responsible for the most important person on the field in 37-year-old Philip Rivers.

Even though Steichen has no previous playcalling experience at any level, he will call plays for the first time in the NFL on Sunday when the Chargers host the 7-1 Green Bay Packers, Lynn said, adding that he advised Steichen to keep things simple.

"Cut back, simplify and let these young men play fast and physical, and know what the hell they're doing. That's the first thing I did as a playcaller and I think we won four straight games," said Lynn, referring to when he served as offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills in 2016. "We definitely want to simplify and allow our players to play faster. It's our job as coaches to figure out ways to slow this game down. That's what we're trying to do."

Rivers said he was disappointed he didn't play better to help Whisenhunt keep his job. However, Rivers also said he is excited about the opportunity for Steichen.

"He has a great feel," Rivers said. "I feel like he, without actually doing it, he has been calling them in practice and calling them for many years. He is certainly prepared for this. Yeah, there is going to be a first time for everybody doing it, but I have full confidence that he will do a heck of a job."