The LA Chargers have the star power on the roster to succeed but oftentimes the true ceiling of a team depends on the role players and how they step up. This has been a problem in the past for the Chargers, who have fallen short of expectations time and time again in recent years.
Just like any year, the Bolts are going to need the role players to step up and make an impact. The stars of Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, Austin Ekeler, Derwin James and Corey Linsley will certainly do their jobs… if healthy. That is not a concern.
How well the role players play will decide if this team can truly be a playoff contender and live up to the Super Bowl dark horse title that some have displaced on them.
Here are the four most important role players on the LA Chargers in 2021
1. Jared Cook
Jared Cook is a former Pro Bowler and was once a star but he should not be considered that anymore. He is a veteran tight end who now finds himself as a role player on this team and the third or fourth passing option in the offense.
Cook adds a vertical dynamic to the tight end room that was needed with Hunter Henry signing with the New England Patriots but that is not what makes Cook so important. The importance of Cook lies in his experience in the league and how he can impact the rest of the tight end room.
Tre’ McKitty was taken in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Chargers and while he is going to be an ample blocker right away, he could use some help with his route tree and Cook will provide just that.
He also can have an impact on Donald Parham and Stephen Anderson. Some assortment of those three will be the future of the tight end position in LA, making Cook all the more important.