1. Someone who can unlock Justin Herbert
Justin Herbert is fresh off of the best rookie quarterback season in NFL history, so it seems safe to say that the LA Chargers already unlocked Herbert. The scary thing (for other teams, that is) is that Herbert easily could have been much better in 2020, and with the right head coach, he can be a top-five quarterback in the league as early as next season.
Pep Hamilton seemingly has a great relationship with Herbert but that is where the positives end. This team just did not utilize Herbert in the proper way, both because of Lynn and because of offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.
Lynn is a very old-school type of head coach that loved to establish the run. Lynn would look to establish the run even when the team was down to its fourth-string running back, taking away opportunities from Herbert and the offense.
They do not have to pass every single first down but they needed to pass the ball more often on first downs. According to Warren Sharp’s Sharp Football Statistics, the LA Chargers ranked 24th in pass frequency on first downs. More concerning, they were tied for 30th in first-down pass success rate.
They did not pass as often as they should have on first down and ran uninspired play calls on first down. It is not even like they were good at running on first down, either!
The Chargers averaged 3.9 yards per carry on first-down runs this season. That is the lowest average among the 10 teams who ran the ball the most on first down, with the next lowest being the Las Vegas Raiders at 4.1.
They did not throw the ball in the right situations and they did not draw up plays that utilized Herbert’s skillset for most of the season. How often did we see Herbert rollout of the pocket (by design) to utilize his athleticism and arm strength? Not enough!
It can definitely be worse (hi, Adam Gase!) but the fact that Herbert was this good this season makes me very excited about how good he can be with a proper head coach.