“CHARGERS PLAY BLAME-GAME”
I guess somebody has to pay the price after the horror show Chargers loss to Jacksonville on Saturday night in the playoffs. Looking at things from a different lens.
Ownership was not holding Head Coach Brandon Staley accountable. He brought energy-work ethic-dynamic leadership-and communication to that locker room over his two years on the job. But the truth is he has blind spots and flaws. His record is (19-16).
Ownership is not holding President of Football Ops, John Spanos, the owner’s son, nor GM-Tom Telesco accountable either. They have built a very young and athletic roster. It’s a team ripped apart by injuries though. Their record is (81-86) in a decade.
But there have been mistakes made in veteran player deals, the misfire on big money CB-JC Jackson, the failure on OT-Bryan Bulaga with a history of health issues. And the inability to go into the market place to go get veteran defensive line help when guys were available.
That front office duo has never been aggressive on the roster front, never trading up for higher picks to get the right player that would be a difference maker either.
So in looking for scapegoats, they fired Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi and Quarterback coach Shane Day. They oversaw the explosive seasons we saw from QB-Justin Herbert. But despite the heroic stats Herbert put together game day play calls became a problem.
In the 2-years Herbert ran Lombardi’s play calls, he threw for a staggering (9,753Y-63TDs). He did that despite injuries to his wide receiver corps. A decimated offensive line. And lacking any consistent power run game.
The bigger issues seemed to be play-calls and the inability to make changes when defenses took away things at halftime of games. The stat sheet does not lie.
In the final 7-games this year, Herbert threw only 7-TD passes.
The offense scored just 17-TDs overall in the final 7-games.
The offense had 27% 3-and-outs during the season.
They were only 17th in Red Zone TDs-hitting on just 54% of possessions
The Bolts were 30th in rushing this year (89YPG)
They were ranked 30th in yards per carry (3.4YPC)
When it was goal to goal inside the 10-the Chargers were ranked 23rd
Herbert was #26 in yards per attempt
His TD output went from 38 last yar to 25-this year
The offense had 6-major injuries this year, stretching from Herbert’s fluke rib injuries…to the loss of LT-Rashawn Slater, the nagging injury issues to OC-Corey Linsley and RT-Trey Pipkins, and the significant losses of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Add in the lost time of role players Jaylen Guyton, Josh Palmer and others, and it was too much to overcome.
The Chargers need a power running back, more help in the defensive front, and a mauler type offensive lineman. That’s the front office’s responsibility.
I never thought money troubled Dean Spanos would swallow the remaining years on Staley’s contract and that of his staff. Never thought he’d pay a Sean Payton 10M a year. Never believed he would remove his son as President of Operations so Payton could bring in his own people. And did not buy you should give up a 1st round pick to the Saints to hire Payton.
But there is an accountability question to discuss. This is the same management group that hired Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn and now has reservations about Staley.
This is the same ownership that ran off Super Bowl Bobby Ross and then 200-win head coach Marty Schottenheimer after a (14-2) season.
So what is the football IQ-and credibility of Team Spanos?
The scoreboard does not lie though about this team and this ownership. They have owned this team since 1984. The Spanos Scoreboard:
..7-AFC West titles
..1-Super Bowl appearance
..12-head coaches .
Solutions-vs-Scapegoats. What does the Spanos First Family of Football, as they call themselves, stand for?