"Clancy Barone is very, very bright," said Schottenheimer. "He's articulate and presented himself extremely well in his interview. I was contacted by a couple of people in Atlanta who explained that they felt he was a terrific teacher. All of that was substantiated in the time I spent with him. He's been around a high-profile tight end in Alge Crumpler and did a very nice job in that situation. I think that's going to enable him to make a seamless transition here with Antonio Gates."
Barone comes to the Chargers from the Atlanta Falcons where he was the assistant offensive line coach in 2004 and the tight ends coach from 2005-06. In San Diego, he will work with three-time Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates, who was the Chargers' leading receiver in 2006 with 71 catches, 924 yards and nine touchdowns.
Barone has experience in working with Pro Bowl tight ends as he spent the last two seasons tutoring the Falcons' leading receiver, Alge Crumpler. This season, Crumpler was chosen to start his third straight Pro Bowl after leading the Falcons with 56 catches, 780 yards and eight touchdowns. He had his best game of the season on Oct. 22 against the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, hauling in six passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns. In 2005, Crumpler led the team with 65 catches, 877 yards and five scores. A big-play weapon in Atlanta's offense, Crumpler's 13 receptions of 20+ yards in 2006 were second in the NFL to Gates' 14.
"He's a real technician, a student of the game," said Crumpler of Barone. "He taught me a lot. Gates will enjoy having him on the staff. I hated seeing him leave Atlanta. I did all I could to try to get them to keep him. He'll be great for Antonio."
Barone has 20 years of coaching experience, including 17 at the collegiate level.
Simon joins the Chargers after most recently coaching running backs for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2005. Under his direction, Baltimore rushed for an average of 1,985 yards per season and defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 season. Baltimore rushed for at least 2,000 yards in three different seasons under Simon, including a team-record 2,674 yards in 2003 when Jamal Lewis was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Associated Press All-Pro and selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad.
"I was extremely impressed with Matt's presence," explained Schottenheimer. "There was a quiet air of confidence when we interviewed him. Clarence Shelmon and I were involved in that along with (quarterbacks coach) John Ramsdell. We were very impressed with his ability to communicate the details and the fundamentals of running back play. He did an excellent job in Baltimore. Jamal Lewis had terrific success under his tutelage."