Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh may feel old having NaVorro Bowman as his linebackers coach. The former San Francisco 49ers sideline boss coached Bowman in the Bay Area for four seasons, creating a full-circle moment as he returns to the professional ranks.

Bowman sounded off on his first NFL coaching job Saturday, via ESPN's Kris Rhim.

“I think it benefits the players just having me here and just being able to give it to them both ways,” Bowman said. “Just being able to [say], ‘OK, you don't understand it this way. Let me break it down to you how you and your teammate will talk about it.' And I think that's relieved the guys a lot in our room. I love our room, it's a great room, a lot of competition, and I look forward to what's coming next.”

Bowman is a worthy person for young linebackers to learn from, as the 35-year-old is a four-time first-team All-Pro honoree and three-time Pro Bowler. He also led the league in both solo and combined tackles in 2015, while also winning the Butkus Award in 2013, which is given to the best linebacker.

Bowman was one of the bigger steals in NFL Draft history, dominating for seven years after getting selected in the third round (91st overall) by San Francisco in 2010. He totaled 877 tackles, 16.5 sacks, and five interceptions combined across the regular seasons and playoffs. The Maryland native got his coaching start with the Terrapins as a defensive analyst in 2023 before joining Harbaugh's Chargers crew this year.

What players will Bowman be developing this season and beyond?

The Chargers linebacker room is in good hands

Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVarro Bowman (53) during the first half at LP Field.
© Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Bowman's top mission will be improving Los Angeles' inside linebacker production. While Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, and Shawne Merriman are all quality edge rushers, the Chargers have been starving for quality play in the middle of the defense.

Third-round pick Junior Colson out of Michigan, who played under Harbaugh, will be Bowman's new pet project.

“I stood on a table from day one for you, dawg,” Bowman told him. “I'm happy you are here. We can hit the ground running fast, man.”

Colson, a two-time second-team All-Big Ten honoree, may already have a hurdle to climb, unfortunately. The rookie got injured during the team's OTAs on Monday, via FanSided's Jerry Trotta. Specific details are currently unknown, but he was able to walk off the field under his own power.

Other members of the Chargers' inside linebacker room include Daiyan Henley, Denzel Perryman, Nick Niemann, and Troy Dye. Perryman, a former Pro Bowler and the only player in the room with an established resume as a starter, had kind words for Bowman.

“He's a player's coach,” he said. “They understand the game and it makes it a lot easier for us to go out there and play.”

Bowman has similar admiration for Perryman, who will lean on him to lead by example on the field.

“I've been watching Denzel for a long time. He plays the right way. When I knew that he was out there, I wanted to get him,” Bowman said. “… I just know the way that he's going to come in and work, come in and set the example for guys like Daiyan [Henley], like Junior [Colson]. He's a 10-year vet and he's doing the things that a lot of 10-year guys that I played with wouldn't do. He's approaching it the right way, and we're glad to have him.”

If anyone can command the respect of a locker room, it's someone with a confident voice who's been in the players' shoes before. Bowman fits the bill, and it's why he has a chance to take the Chargers' linebacker corps to the moon.