Be more deceptive on offense
The offensive play calling was a big improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, independent of who was under center. Whether they deliberately held back against the Bengals to not give the Chiefs a lot of tape, or they just decided to get more creative, the LA Chargers could still try more interesting stuff.
In Week 1, we saw some fake jet sweeps, but the ball never went to the player in motion, who was just used as a decoy. On Week 2, we saw Joe Reed carry the ball in a deceptive play, and he picked up 8 yards.
It was a great play design, and while Shane Steichen hasn’t earned anyone’s respect as a play-caller yet, he does such a great job at designing plays, it’s puzzling why he doesn’t go off the beaten path more often. He should involve more variations of these kinds of plays more often on his game scripts.
Last week, I called for more involvement from Ekeler in the offense, and now, it’s Reed who needs to get more involved. The Chargers could take a page out of their next opponent’s book, as the Panthers have used Curtis Samuel in very interesting ways with success.
A weak team like the Panthers could prove the perfect opponent for Steichen and Anthony Lynn to experiment with the fifth-round rookie, who has already proved as a returner that he’s a threat with the ball in his hands.
For some reason, Easton Stick has been active the first two games of the season. Not many teams carry three quarterbacks on their roster, let alone keep the three of them active on game day. So if they are going to keep Stick dressed and ready for action, why not try to get some two-quarterback trick plays to make the most of the athleticism in the quarterback room.
I would say to draw some inspiration from the Saints’ usage of Taysom Hill, but even the Saints are limited by Brees’ lack of athleticism. The Chargers have even more options thanks to Herbert, Taylor and Stick all being great athletes who can threaten a team with their legs.
Every year, we see more and more interesting concepts on offense, and it’s time the Chargers move in that direction too. They have the personnel and the creativity required for that, they just need to go for it.