The Chargers are heading into the 2021 season with a new coaching staff, a new offensive line, and some expectations. Brandon Staley has brought in a new coaching staff with only two coaches who stayed from the previous staff.
Change always comes with a new staff, but also many questions. There are many with this team. The team is three weeks away from starting training camp, so here are some burning questions heading into training camp.
Has Joe Lombardi learned from his Detroit mistakes?
All eyes will be on the new offensive coordinator. He has been handed the keys to a Ferrari in terms of the offense. He will have to help with the ascension of quarterback Justin Herbert while having Keenan Allen and Mike Williams at receiver and Austin Ekeler behind him.
His first stint as an offensive coordinator was with the Lions in 2014, and it did not go well at all. The Lions had a middle-of-a-pack offense that only scored 20.1 points a game with Matthew Stafford at quarterback and Calvin Johnson at receiver. The run game was non-existent rushing 88.9 yards a game. He was only given a handful of games in 2015 before he was fired.
During training camp, it will be interesting to see what the offense looks like under Lombardi. At OTAs and minicamp, players said that they loved the direction into this new offense because they feel like they will play free, and it will help put them in a position to succeed. All offensive players who spoke said they loved the direction this offense is headed.
Lombardi will be under a microscope during training camp.
Who will play opposite Joey Bosa?
This is the biggest on the field question they are facing. For years the Chargers had the duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa to rush the passer, but Ingram is no longer with the team. He is a free agent.
The Bolts have three players who could all be vying for the spot with Uchenna Nwosu, Kyler Fackrell, and Chris Rumph II.
Nwosu was drafted in the second round in 2018 and showed some promise in his rookie season. He has made some strides and had good moments, but he still hasn’t had that breakout season. Staley is known for helping players breakout, so many Nwosu should be a candidate for this season, similar to Rams pass rusher Leonard Floyd, whom Nwosu has been watching film of recently.
Fackrell and Rumph are both new to the team. Fackrell was signed as a free agent and has had big seasons in the past, so he will for sure be in the mix and compete. Rumph is similar in size to Floyd, with Rumph only an inch shorter but similar in their play. It seems like the rookie pass rusher will be used in specific packages, but he might be a developmental pick.
A couple of weeks back, Bosa mentioned Emeke Eguble as another guy who could push for the position. Expect all four of these players to be in the mix.
Will they finally stay healthy throughout camp?
It seems like the Chargers have had one freak accident with a top player. In 2018 it was Joey Bosa, while the last two seasons, it has been Derwin James.
The Bolts missed Bosa and James during their absence. The defense struggle at times without either of their top superstars.
Injuries happen during training camp, but the Bolts can’t afford it to happen to one of their top players this season. There are nicks and nacks here and there, but they need the “football Gods” on their side.
The Chargers need to stay healthy during training camp. They need to come out of it clean if they are to compete for an AFC West division that they haven’t won since 2009.