Los Angeles Chargers Team Overview 2020

Los Angeles Chargers Team Overview 2020

Chargers Team Overview 2020

Los Angeles Chargers Team Preview 2020

Owner: 

Dean Spanos.  His father Alex Spanos was the man who bought the Chargers in 1984.  Alex made all of his money from real estate. 

Dean took over control of the team around 1994 and has recently passed a lot of the organizational duties to his sons. 

Dean is responsible for moving the Chargers from San Diego to L.A.  They were in San Diego since 1961 to 2018.  It was met with a lot of criticism.

General Manager

Tom Telesco.  Telesco was most known for his time in Indianapolis as a scout.  He rose up the ranks quickly to director of player personnel. 

He started Indianapolis in 1998, that same year the Colts drafted Peyton Manning.  So he definitely benefited from Peyton’s success. 

In 2012 he was hired as the Chargers GM.  He has a combined losing record in the past 8 seasons that he has been with the Chargers. 

The Chargers have only made the playoffs twice.  I don’t know where Telesco sits with the owner but if I were the owner, he would definitely be on the hot seat.

Head Coach: 

Anthony Lynn.  Lynn used to be a college running back for Texas Tech.  He also played on a couple NFL teams in the mid 1990’s. 

He then began coaching in the early 2000’s as a running backs coach.  He was a running backs coach for quite some time with various NFL teams. 

Then in Buffalo in 2016 he was promoted to be the offensive coordinator and did a really nice job.  Then in 2017, he became the Chargers head coach. 

His time in San Diego and L.A. has been down, up and down.  He had a really good season in 2018 and made it to the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. 

Last season the team struggled and didn’t really have a good reason as to why they struggled.  The team has a lot of talent but they only finished with a record of 5-11. 

This year they lost long time QB Philip Rivers and have a rookie and longtime back up as their QB options. 

It appears there are small rumblings of him being on the hot seat if he has another very disappointing season. 

I think it would be completely unfair for them to fire him after this season without a viable quarterback.  We will see.

Fantasy Outlook for the Chargers

QB: Justin Herbert/Tyrod Taylor

All of the chargers players will be on my do not draft list.  The reason being will be because of these 2 quarterbacks. 

Tyrod’s most touchdowns thrown in a season was 20.  He doesn’t turn the ball over that much but he doesn’t make a lot of plays in the passing game. 

He started 3 seasons in Buffalo so we know what we are getting with him and that is not much in terms of fantasy production for him or his receivers. 

The rookie Herbert might start halfway through the season if the Chargers think he is ready. 

I was high initially on Herbert before the draft but watched more of him and I don’t think he is a pure passer. 

He is an average passer but I think he struggles in the NFL.  I think these 2 quarterbacks will easily have this offense in the bottom of the league in 2020.

RB: Austin Ekeler

The Chargers will eventually move away from Ekeler this season.  Also he doesn’t have Philip Rivers anymore to dump the ball to him.  There are way better options at running back around the time Ekeler’s average draft position.  Don’t draft him.

WR: Keenan Allen

I really love Keenan compared to most other NFL wide receivers.  But poor Keenan, he won’t have a passing quarterback unless they trade for one this season, which isn’t going to happen.  Don’t draft Keenan.

WR: Mike Williams

Same story as Keenan Allen.

TE: Hunter Henry

Same story as Keenan Allen.

Chargers Offensive Preview 2020: 

Shane Steichen.  Steichen is only 35 years old but head coach Anthony Lynn was very pleased with how he took over as offensive coordinator halfway through the 2019 season. 

Now Steichen has an entire offseason to work with Lynn to make this offense look a lot better than it did in 2019. 

However, the GM Tom Telesco didn’t add a QB in free agency and will rely on longtime backup Tyrod Taylor and 1st round rookie Justin Herbert. 

It’s not an ideal situation.  The running back room doesn’t have an ideal running back either.  Austin Ekeler is the starter but he is very short and small. 

He has the heart of a lion but is really not a running back who can carry the load.  They drafted a running back in the 4th round from WVU. 

His name is Joshua Kelly.  So Steichen definitely has an uphill battle and not ideal players who will touch the ball the most in 2020.  With that said, Lynn has said that he is working with Steichen to create a solid plan for 2020. 

Lynn says he wants to be more balanced and also be under center more in 2020.  Lynn used to coach under Mike Shannahan so he wants to have some of those concepts for this offense. 

That means having the quarterback under center, running wide zone running plays and also a lot of play action passes.  When the QB isn’t under center, HC Lynn has said that they will be in the pistol formation. 

That is what the Ravens did last season.  And their OC and Lynn have worked together.  So I would highly anticipate that the Chargers look a lot like the Ravens in 2020.  The Chargers had the 5 fewest play action passes last season. 

HC Lynn said that will change drastically in 2020.  He also said that there will be a lot more motion pre snap this season too.  All of these ideas of pre snap motions, pistol formations and play action are great but won’t work if they don’t get any improvement from their offensive line. 

The offensive line is a work of art and I will touch on them at the bottom of this article.  The other big problem is that if Tyrod Taylor really does start a majority of the season, than he will have to become a better passer. 

In Buffalo, he started quite a bit but would routinely throw the ball away or scramble.  He never felt comfortable throwing the ball.

  I like Steichen and Lynn’s direction but I think this is a pretty easy call to make.  This offense should be one of the worst 10 offenses in the NFL in 2020 in terms of points scored.

Raiders Defensive Preview 2020: 

Gus Bradley is the defensive coordinator.  Bradley was first known for being the Seattle defensive coordinator in the early 2010’s. 

He did really well there and had a lot of great players.  Then he became the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013 to 2016.  He was fired and has now been the Chargers defensive coordinator since 2017. 

Bradley is known for running the zone 3 defense that the Seattle Seahawks have been famously known for running. 

However, HC Lynn said that he wants to shake things up this season.  They didn’t have a lot of sacks in 2019 and were dead last in takeaways in 2019 too. 

Bradley also has one of the lowest blitz percentages in the NFL too.  This is because Bradley believes in the bend but don’t break defense.  His defenses have been in the top half of the NFL in scoring defense the past 3 seasons. 

They have also been really good against the pass.  They haven’t had the best run defenses.  So this year they will blitz more, play less zone 3 and more man to man. 

Bradley admitted that man to man has better effectiveness than zone if it is mixed in a lot throughout games.  This brings us to the players that they brought in order to fit this scheme.  Let’s start with the talented secondary. 

Cornerbacks

They signed all-pro cornerback Chris Harris Jr. this offseason.  Harris Jr. is a really good cornerback but has been more effective in the slot.  He didn’t have one of his amazing seasons in 2019 but was still very good. 

He works incredibly hard and should have another very good year in 2020.  Opposite of Harris Jr. is another top notch cornerback in Casey Hayward. 

It is tough to say which of these 2 cornerbacks are better but one thing is for certain.  They both can play man to man really well which is what Bradley is eyeing to do in 2020.  Desmond King is the other cornerback and he too is a good corner. 

He usually plays in the slot of obvious passing plays.  These 3 cornerbacks will help this defense get off the field sooner. 

Safety

The safety group is led by standout Derwin James.  I don’t know if James has been an all pro yet but he is definitely going to be an all pro before he retires.

He was hurt for most of his 2nd season in 2019 but his rookie year was very special.  He had 3 interceptions, lots of pass deflections and a lot of tackles. 

He made a lot of game changing plays.  The safety next to him will be Rayshawn Jenkins.  Jenkins is a Florida boy just like James. 

Jenkins had 3 interceptions last season and will be the free safety in 2020.  Head coach Lynn said that he thinks Jenkins will break out in 2020. 

So this group of defensive backs is going to be really fun to watch.  They will most likely finish as a top 5 passing defense in 2020. 

Linebackers

The linebackers are Denzal Perryman, Nick Vigil, Uchenna Nwosu, Drue Tranquill and 1st round rookie Kenneth Murray. 

This group needed a lift this off season and they are hoping that Kenneth Murray can produce.  I watched Murray at Oklahoma and he is very talented.  He runs really well and is a hard nose tackler. 

I think this was a really good selection for the Chargers.  Lynn also likes Denzel Perryman but he isn’t the best in pass coverage.  Vigil comes from Cincinnati and he was all over the field for the Bengals. 

He is solid linebacker and can make plays but he isn’t the best in the run game.  The last guy to touch on is Drue Tranquill. 

Many think Tranquill should have a shot at starting over Vigil and even Perryman.  I’m not sure if the coaches go this route but maybe they do. 

Overall, this linebacking group is awful.  They could be average to a little above average if the rookie Murray can produce like he did at Oklahoma. 

Defensive Line

This leads us to the D-line.  The Chargers run sort of a 4-3 hybrid or you can say 3-4 hybrid too.  This is because they have 2 talented edge rushers.

Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.  Ingram is a freak of nature and has been causing havoc for many years in the NFL.  He only had 7 sacks last season but the coaches said that the defensive scheme limited him. 

We will see if he is able to get more free this season.  Bosa had 11 sacks last season and has been the more reliable pass rusher compared to Ingram. 

Both of them are very good against the run and overall just really great defensive ends in the NFL. 

They beefed up the interior defensive line by signing Joseph Linval from Minnesota this off season.  Linval is a run stuffer and should help this bad run defense from 2019 out a lot.  Next to him is either Justin Jones or Jerry Tillery. 

Neither are amazing so this defense will have to rely on Linval to great in 2020.  Overall, this defense has talent in all the right places. 

Defensive Conclusion

I like the direction the defensive scheme is looking to play also.  More blitzing and man to man coverage should help with creating more turnovers, which this team lacked in 2019.  They should also be a lot better against the run. 

I really like this unit in 2020.  The only main concern is if the offense puts them in bad situations.  This would happen by the offense not being able to get 3rd downs and having the defense tire out in the 2nd half of football games. 

The other scenario would be if the Chargers turn the ball over a lot.  I don’t think Lynn allows that to happen.  Tyrod is very good at not turning over the football.  Expect a lot of low scoring games for the Chargers this season.

Fun Facts About Coaches:

La’Roi Glover is the assistant defensive line coach and he was a really good defensive lineman in the 2000’s and late 1990’s.  

George Stewart is the special teams coach and he has been a coach for 32 years in the NFL.

Depth Chart:

Contract Year Players:

DE: Melvin Ingram

DE: Joey Bosa

LB: Denzel Perryman

TE: Hunter Henry

WR: Keenan Allen

OL: Mike Pouncey

QB: Tyrod Taylor

CB: Desmond King

OL: Forest Lamp

OL: Dan Feeny

Chargers Offensive Line Preview:

The offensive line is not in the best shape.  They signed tackle Bryan Bulaga from the Packers this off season. 

Bulaga has had trouble staying healthy but when he is healthy, he is a very good tackle.  The Chargers also traded for Trai Turner. 

Turner has made 5 pro bowls and should really help this offensive line.  Beluga and Turner should play on the right side of the line. 

The center is Mike Pouncey.  Pouncey is the brother of Steeler’s center Maurkice.  Both Pouncey’s are really good.  Maurkice is better though.  Mike missed a lot of last season so we will see how he rebounds in 2020. 

So far, this is a pretty good looking and veteran offensive line.  Now to the left side.  The left guard will be either Dan Feeney or Forest Lamp. 

Lamp was a former high draft pick in 2018 but has only played 9 games in the past 2 seasons.  He is very talented but Feeney has shown he knows the offense and is consistent.  Feeney is a good run blocker but not so great in the passing game. 

The left tackle will either be Trey Pipkins or Sam Tevi.  It will most likely be Pipkins.  Pipkins is a below average Tackle and will probably be the worst lineman out of all the starters.  They might even move Lamp to Tackle if he looks really healthy in 2020. 

Overall, I don’t think this line is as bad as pro football focus makes it out to be.  There are some concerns but I think this line will do a pretty good job in 2020.

Eric

Thank you for reading my post. Dominique and I hope you find our website helpful. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments!

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