When you think of the impact players in the LA Chargers offense, aside from rookie standout Justin Herbert, who comes to the forefront of your mind?
Many would tend to gravitate toward the electric wide receiver Keenan Allen. Perhaps, one may think of the most versatile running back in the NFL, Austin Ekeler. Both are critical and unique players in their own right.
However, two newer players in the organization are poised for favorable possibilities in the Los Angeles offense in 2021. Despite tight end Hunter Henry’s departure to the New England Patriots in this past offseason’s free-agent window, the Chargers possess two serious impact players at the tight end position.
New offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi, witnessed firsthand what tight ends can do in an offensive scheme that possesses a talented quarterback with weapons at the other offensive skill positions in 2013 as an offensive assistant with the New Orleans Saints.
The LA Chargers have a new starting tight end in town.
With Hunter Henry no longer in the picture for the LA Chargers in 2021, the team acted quickly and signed journeyman tight end Jared Cook. Cook is a 12-year NFL veteran who has played with 5 other NFL organizations before arriving in Los Angeles for this upcoming season.
Jared spent his past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints, where he still showed that he is still a vital weapon even at 34 years of age.
Jared Cook’s filthy catch ?
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 25, 2020
The grizzled veteran made the most of an anomalous Saints season in which they had 3 different starting quarterbacks and amassed 7 receiving touchdowns while averaging 13.6 yards per reception. Not to mention, in the previous season (2019), he hauled in 9 touchdowns.
This is ideal for Justin Herbert as he enters his second year. The middle of the field will possess room to work, considering the Chargers’ top-notch WR corps and host of running backs coming out of the backfield will generate plenty of attention from opponents. Cook will not be alone, as he will have a mountain of a teammate at the position nearby.
LA Chargers tight end Donald Parham Jr. is one of the best red-zone threats in the NFL.
With the veteran tight end Jared Cook garnering the attention as the primary tight end, Donald Parham Jr. will have plenty of opportunities to impact both the goal-to-go and third-down situations.
In 2020, he only had 10 receptions, but it is safe to assume that the Chargers offensive coaching staff will find ways to utilize their 6’8″ 240 lb. tight end. When they did last season, opponents were left helpless.
Beautiful back-shoulder throw from Justin Herbert! Donald Parham Jr. comes down with the @Chargers TD.
— NFL (@NFL) October 4, 2020
Expect the Chargers’ offense to be dynamic in the 2021 offseason. More importantly, expect a better utilization of players that the defense may overlook in accounting for in the middle of the field.