The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a pretty special 2020. Made some great memories and created some interesting history. Tom Brady playing in his 54th Super Bowl (only nine but seems like it’s every year) and playing in their home stadium. That was a first for any Super Bowl-era team in the National Football League.
Makes for great nostalgia.
It’s like eating fried bologna sandwiches. The first one is wonderful but too many of them make you sick and are bad for you.
However, two sentimental firsts are sitting there waiting for the LA Chargers. Something that has never been done and can only happen to one man and then of course doing what the Bucs did last year.
A Lombardi holding the Lombardi on his home field. Joe holding Grandpa Vince.
I know it’s the LA Chargers we are talking about and most know what has happened when hopes are extremely high for this organization, but it is in the realm of a real possibility.
When it comes to the Lombardi holding the Lombardi, in Los Angeles, and for the first world championship in team history to be plausible, we must take the side of whimsical and the fantastical. The Charger fan base right now has to live off those two adjectives.
But here is where the dreaming can come true and why it can happen for the Chargers.
The LA Chargers have been drafted and signed to be built for the postseason.
In football terms – they have experience, depth, and a unique brand of coaching talent.
General manager Tom Telesco has done a surprisingly good job in player acquisition thus far, but he’s not a Bobby Beathard yet. He has used his first-round draft picks better than any GM the Chargers have ever had.
Telesco has been able to keep a majority of those first picks and they have been in the position to contribute at pro bowl levels. This defense seems like it has been prepared for head coach Brandon Staley to finally arrive. This defense is ready and waiting for what some have called the ‘rain man’ of defensive coaches.
Barring injuries, which have been an M.O. for the Chargers for the last 20-plus years, this defensive skill set is capable of winning deep in the playoffs.
With the drafting of the best offensive tackle in the 2021 draft and the signing of the best center in the NFL in Corey Linsley, Staley has done what he has needed to and that is to protect Herbert. And to hopefully increase the ground game.
Justin Herbert has done what no other Charger QB has ever done.
Heck, he’s done what no other rookie quarterback, ever, has done in the league, period. The most touchdowns and completions, second in yardage and completion percentage. Even his week 11 jersey is on display in the NFL Hall of Fame as the only rookie quarterback to throw for two touchdowns in seven consecutive games.
The second year of a rookie quarterback is always the tell-tell of any NFL quarterback. His rookie-record-setting predecessor, Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns, surpassed the sophomore jinx with a highly productive second-year campaign. Although he hasn’t won the big one really hasn’t come close.
Justin Herbert has the NFL world in his hands, and if he can keep at par with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, results could be similar to what Mahomes has achieved.
His new coordinator, Joe Lombardi, was the quarterback coach of a record-breaking and of one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game in former Charger Drew Brees.
The defensive savant known as Brandon Staley has a staff that is talented and fits the player personnel very well.
George Seifert is the only rookie head coach to win a Super Bowl. But there is big difference between Seifert and what Staley has a chance to do. Seifert already had a recipe that had all the ingredients plus the water when he arrived in that position.
Brandon Staley has acquired a couple of superstars in Joey Bosa and Darwin James. But where Stalkey will achieve a good amount of success is from taking the 2020 rookies and escalating their involvement and into a package that will contribute at a higher level of success.
He has a chance to have pro bowlers at all three levels of the defense – Defensive line, linebacker, and secondary.
Former QB coach of the LA Chargers, Pep Hamilton, is the best quarterback coach in the league and gets the credit for what Herbert has done besides his natural talent. But the new offensive coordinator, Lombardi, has been a huge part of QB record-breaking numbers in his work with a Hall of Famer, Brees.
The New Orleans Saints had one of the most dynamic offenses ever seen in the league and Lombardi will bring that philosophy to the Chargers organization.
If Justin Herbert is able to keep at par with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Lombardi held by a Lombardi ideal on their home field is not out of the question. Not by a long shot.