Even though the team rallied to a 10-7 record and made the playoffs for the first time in four years, the 2022 season still felt disappointing for the LA Chargers. There were legitimate Super Bowl aspirations for this team and instead, fans got a historic blown lead in the AFC Wild Card Round.
What made it even more frustrating was the fact that defensively, the Chargers were playing well. It was the offensive side of the football that struggled and that should never be the case with Justin Herbert under center. Granted, Herbert had to deal with multiple injuries in 2022 but the team still failed to maximize the talent it had under center.
A big part of the reason was offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi — who has since been replaced with Kellen Moore. Another big reason was flawed roster construction by the Bolts. Not only did the team intentionally go thin at wide receiver, but they outright ignored speed at the position after Jalen Guyton suffered a torn ACL in Week 3.
Despite frustrating fans all season and seeming so obvious, general manager Tom Telesco still pushed back at the speed narrative in his post-season press conference. Telesco needs to listen to Austin Ekeler, who recently explained why the lack of speed hindered the Chargers' offense last season when appearing on 'Fantasy Football Happy Hour' with Matthew Berry and Jay Croucher.
Austin Ekeler sees what the fans see: the Chargers need speed.
Austin Ekeler's discourse around the lack of speed on the Chargers' offense sounds all-too-familiar. If you spent any time scrolling through Chargers Twitter this past season you would have seen a large contingent of fans making the exact same point.
Fans just now have to hope that influences from Ekeler, Kellen Moore and potentially Justin Herbert will convince Telesco that he needs to factor in speed more than he already has. This team desperately needs wide receiver depth this offseason and if they add another slower wide receiver to the room it will accomplish nothing.
Los Angeles doesn't have to draft a receiver in the first round in order to accomplish this. It can be something that is accomplished in the first three rounds. Regardless of if it is a first-round prospect or a mid-round sleeper, the Bolts need someone who can take off the top of a defense.
Chargers fans know it, Austin Ekeler knows it and the rest of the NFL world knows it. It is time that Tom Telesco checks in and realizes it as well.