Los Angeles Chargers Offensive Coordinator: Coaches ‘Sleeping A Little Less That Week’ When Playing A Really Good Running Team

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Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman likes to run the ball. Of his 10 seasons as an offensive coordinator, his teams have been in the top three in rushing attempts seven times and led the league twice. Roman’s offenses have never been outside the top 10 in 10 seasons.

Conversely, Roman’s offenses have not passed the ball often. Just once in the top 10 in passing attempts per game, seven times as the 32nd or 31st in passing attempts per game.

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But what about when you have one of the best arms in the league, in Justin Herbert? Despite his reputation, Roman demured about what exactly his offense would look like with Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

“… Right now, everybody’s got a blank slate of who we can be or what we can do. Could be anything right now, our principles and whatnot of what we do offensively won’t change, but how they come to life on the field will.”

Roman even went so far as to say he wants a ‘balanced offense.’

“We want to be able to run it when we want to run it and throw it when we want to throw it. If they present looks that are favorable to run it, then we want to be able to run it at a high level. Every place I’ve been, that’s kind of been the goal, to try to have that complete attack.”

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Despite the platitudes about a balanced offense Roman couldn’t help but gush about the potential running game with Herbert and just how much he believes a run-heavy attack is a winning philosophy.

“Can you imagine Justin Herbert with a great running game?” Roman said. “… We don’t know, but I can imagine what it might look like. So that’s kind of the vision.”

“I think in this league, you can really, really help dictate the defenses if you have a strong running attack,” Roman said. “If you really talk to most defensive coordinators in this league and got ’em off to the side when they’re playing a really good running team, they’re sweating a little bit. They’re sleeping a little less that week.”

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Herbert is a different quarterback than Lamar Jackson, Tyrod Taylor, and Colin Kaepernick. For one while mobile and capable as a runner, he isn’t a QB you design runs around. Two, his best asset is his ability to throw the ball.

Under Roman, Jackson flourished as a dual-threat quarterback but only took off as a passer once Roman left the Baltimore Ravens. Roman’s offense is just harder to sustain year over year. That is a reason why the Ravens and Jackson never reached the same heights as they did in 2019.

No matter how you shake it, Herbert is a different quarterback than he has worked with. Not only that, but the Chargers don’t have a Frank Gore or a Gus Edwards-type back on the roster. (Yet.)

So whether or not Roman will embrace the passing game, balance the rushing and the passing attack, or be great at both, there is still a lot to do to get the offense to a place where it can do either. Roman’s job at hand will be to do what neither Joe Lombardi nor Kellen Moore could do, maximize Justin Herbert’s talent.

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