1. “Justin Herbert thrived with a terrible offensive line last year, they can afford to wait for a left tackle”
Justin Herbert set NFL rookie records last season despite having one of, if not the, worst offensive lines in the entire league. Hebert was constantly running for his life and he made the most out of it as he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league under pressure last season.
The Chargers have made some additions to the offensive line that the team hopes will shore up some holes. The trio of Matt Feiler, Oday Aboushi and Corey Linsley will likely be starting on the inside. That is seemingly a big improvement, so they can afford to wait on left tackle, right?
Wrong. As mentioned, the LA Chargers do not have a starting-caliber left tackle, which is the most important position on the entire offensive line. The success rate of later offensive tackles is so much smaller than the success rate of first-round tackles (hi, Trey Pipkins!) and the free-agent options are not good.
Let’s stop saying that Alejandro Villanueva is a good target for the Chargers. Villanueva allowed 43 pressures last season and turns 33 in September. Shouldn’t we have learned by now with the Chargers that bringing in veteran offensive lineman who are already regressing is not a smart idea? (hi, Trai Turner!)
And to be quite frank, there is far from a guarantee that the new offensive line will succeed. We have to assume that Bryan Bulaga stays healthy and does not regress with age, Matt Feiler can thrive as a full-time guard (something he has not done much in his career) and that Aboushi can turn a solid eight games into a solid season.
There are way more variables than people are giving credit. Many thought the offensive line last year would be much better and how did that turn out?
Just because Herbert was great under pressure does not mean you should actively ignore that need and allow pressure to leak in from the left side. Playing under pressure, and playing well, is not sustainable. You don’t put your franchise quarterback in more trouble simply because he has shown the ability to get out of said trouble.
And ironically enough, we can say the exact same thing about Waddle or Smith. Justin Herbert thrived with this receiving corps last season and that was with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams not playing all 16 games. By this logic, if he thrived last year, then they don’t need to add a third receiver, right?
The logic is flawed.