Overreaction 2a: The use of Easton Stick was only an experiment; Overreaction 2b: The Easton Stick experiment has failed.
In the first quarter, the LA Chargers came out on a series with Easton Stick as the quarterback with Justin Herbert standing on the sideline, sparking fears that Herbert may be injured.
As it turned out, that was an intentional play design. It lasted two plays, the first of which was a 4-yard throw, and the second was a 2-yard loss on a run by Stick. At that point, the Chargers had to bring Herbert back in to throw the football on 3rd and long.
We do not know if that was intended to be the end of the designed snaps for Stick, as Herbert was the obvious choice on 3rd down with the need to throw the ball.
So, this must have just been an experiment that the Chargers felt comfortable doing because they were playing the Jacksonville Jaguars after a bye week, right?
In theory, this game was the perfect time to do a one-off experiment, as the Chargers had time to design and implement some plays specifically for Stick. Furthermore, the Jaguars provided a chance to do so against a lesser opponent.
However, the Los Angeles Chargers have kept Stick active for every game this season. This indicates that the Chargers have planned to use Stick in this way all season and that they were likely just looking for the right opportunity to use him.
In this specific instance, it is clear that those plays were a failure. Does that mean that using Easton Stick in a Taysom Hill-like fashion is a failed experiment?
While the coaching staff may have other ideas, I believe that this experiment is already a clear failure. Easton Stick does not have Taysom Hill-like speed or versatility, and his athletic abilities really do not exceed those of Herbert or Tyrod Taylor.
The only reason why the Chargers may be more comfortable using Stick as a versatile runner instead of Herbert is that they are more comfortable risking an injury to Stick than an injury to Herbert. But why bother doing that if Stick does not provide more mobility than Herbert?
Justin Herbert showed that he can be a threat with his legs as well in this game. The limited threat of Herbert’s running with his great throwing is more valuable to the Chargers than Easton Stick’s decent running threat and poor throwing ability.
While this may not be a one-off experiment, it should be. The Chargers should let Stick focus on developing into a role as a competent backup for Justin Herbert.
Verdict 2a: Slight overreaction – It was an experiment, but it might happen again
Verdict 2b: Not an overreaction – This experiment is a failure