Oregon Ducks

Brandon Staley is ready to build the Chargers offense around Justin Herbert

Oregon Ducks

The Los Angeles Chargers are undergoing a bit of a rebuild, and that rebuild will center around Justin Herbert. 

We have known that since they selected him with the sixth overall pick back in June. 

Even so, it took time for him to take the reins in LA.

Anthony Lynn chose to roll with Tyrod Taylor, multiple times calling Herbert the team's backup. It wasn't until a freak accident sidelined Taylor that Herbert got the starting nod. 

He took the field, took the starting job, and never turned back. Still, Lynn was reluctant to really put his full faith in Herbert

The Chargers looked better than they did the year before, but they failed to reach .500 and missed the playoffs for the third time in their four seasons in Los Angeles. 

A disappointing campaign resulted in the exit of Coach Lynn and questions about the stability of Herbert's future. 

The Chargers didn't have to look far to find the answer and stability they needed. 

All they needed to do was walk across the field of SoFi Stadium, the stadium they share with the Los Angeles Rams, to find Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.

Staley, who has been a coach in the NFL since 2017, was officially introduced as the Chargers' new head coach on Tuesday and he wasted little time praising his young quarterback. 

I think when it comes to Justin (Herbert), number one, just observing him from afar, I think you guys are probably all aware of the excitement about this guy and what he earned in his first year.

Brandon Staley

Herbert hit the field in Week 2 and he lit the league on fire. He broke numerous rookie records throughout the season and ended the year with 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns, the sixth and tenth best numbers in the league respectively. 

 

His 396 pass completions and 36 total touchdowns were both rookie records, and he also became the youngest quarterback in the history of the league to throw for 30 or more touchdowns in a single season.

Put it all together and Herbert is not only a favorite to win Rookie of the Year, but he is already one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

So some might question why the Chargers would hire a defensive-minded coach. Sure, Staley may excel on that side, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a plan for his offense. That plan - Build around his young star. 

"I think that my vision for the offense really fits Justin and what he can do well and where we wanna take it, and how we wanna play and feature in his play and not being able to impose a system on him. It's creating the system for Justin and uniquely shaping it to his skillset because he is unlike anybody in the NFL."

That is certainly refreshing. The coach wants to fit the offense to Herbert, not the other way around. Too oftentimes in the NFL, coaches are stubborn and try to fit a square peg in a round hole, so to speak. They force their quarterbacks into situations that don't best fit their skill set. 

Duck fans need to look no further than Marcus Mariota's seasons in Tennessee. Multiple head coaches, coordinators, and ever-changing systems torpedoed his early career and saw him make his way to Las Vegas.

Conversely, look at the Baltimore Ravens who drafted Lamar Jackson in 2018. Jackson doesn't possess the greatest passing skills, but his ability to pull and run with the ball make him an incredible weapon. Rather than force Jackson to be a stereotypical pocket passer, coach John Harbaugh adjusted his offense to best fit Jackson's skill set. The result was an MVP award for Jackson in 2019 and one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

The Chargers have a new coach that doesn't want to handicap his quarterback, he wants to use his skills to take his offense to the next level. The next important move for LA will be who they bring in as offensive coordinator. 

They have fully handed the keys to Herbert, now they just have to get him a reliable co-pilot.