A position group that every fan of the team knows needs revamping, the Los Angeles Chargers have found their leader of the offensive line for the upcoming season.
Let’s look at James Campen.
The Chargers have hired James Campen as the offensive line coach for at least the 2020 season (per Rob Demovsky, ESPN). Along with Campen, the team is also bringing in David Diaz-Infante as an assistant offensive line coach (per Field Yates, ESPN).
The Chargers seem to be looking to lock down their coaching staff rather quickly for the upcoming season. The team recently extended head coach Anthony Lynn as well as officially deciding to make Shane Steichen the full-time offensive coordinator and keeping Gus Bradley in control of the defense.
Campen was formerly a center for the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers from 1987-1993. After his playing days were over, he transitioned to coaching offensive lines at the professional level. Campen was the offensive line coach of the Packers from 2007-2018, and then coached the Cleveland Browns offensive line in 2019.
Campen led a Packers offensive line group that was amongst the top half in the league during his tenure with the team. It seemed Campen was constantly turning low round draft picks into Pro Bowl-caliber players while with Green Bay. This includes players such as Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, TJ Lang, and David Bakhtiari (all of whom were drafted in the fourth round or later).
The Chargers offensive line ranked 29th in the league following the 2019 season according to Pro Football Focus, and the plethora of injuries the group faced did not help them along the way.
However, with multiple players looking to return, and the Chargers holding the sixth pick in the upcoming NFL draft, along with the most cap space Tom Telesco has had in his tenure with the team, Campen will certainly have the chance to turn this group into a top 10 offensive line in the league within the coming years.
With a new quarterback possibly in the works in Los Angeles, getting a coach like Campen to help protect the team’s most important asset is an incredibly good move made by the Chargers front office. Protecting the quarterback (no matter who it is next year) and helping solidify the run game are two things that must be done for this team to get over the hump next season.
The Chargers (when healthy) have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Will this coaching move help them solidify a weak spot that frustrated fans everywhere this past season? Is this a move that gets them back on track to being the 12-4 team we all saw just two seasons ago?