The biggest improvement that the LA Chargers made this offseason may not have been on the field but was on the sidelines instead. Shortly after blowing a 27-0 lead to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL Playoffs, the team announced it was parting ways with offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi (among others).
It took some time but the Chargers eventually found Lombardi's replacement, former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Anyone would have felt like an upgrade from Lombardi after 2022 but Moore was a special hire; he led one of the most explosive offenses and was only let go as Mike McCarthy wanted more offensive control.
Chargers fans were thrilled with the change and they are not alone. All of the impressions of the offense coming out of camp are fantastic. Not only are players raving about how the offense looks but they are also comparing it to the previous offense. Some of those players have decided to pull no punches, with the always-candid Keenan Allen explaining how Moore's offense has given him more freedom than before.
Chargers' Keenan Allen was right to feel stuck under Joe Lombardi
The Chargers have been utilizing various different looks during training camp with Keenan Allen getting more playing time on the outside and Mike Williams becoming a viable slot receiver option. Having this kind of versatility to line up in different outlooks is only going to increase the offensive ceiling of this team.
Allen definitely has a point about always having to play in the slot. According to Pro Football Focus, the star receiver played 64.3% of his passing snaps in the slot in 2022. The year prior, also under Lombardi, he played 62.6% of his passing snaps in the slot.
Those are the two highest marks of Allen's career. He has always been someone who plays a decent number of snaps in the slot but he never played more than 60% of snaps in the slot until Lombardi came around. In 2017, which was his most productive season, Allen played 49.2% of his snaps in the slot.
Williams, meanwhile, suffered the inverse effect. At 15% in 2022 and 16.9% in 2021, Williams played in the slot the fewest amount of times in his entire career. In 2019, which was Williams' most productive year, he played 36.3% of his snaps in the slot.
Thankfully, the Chargers now have an offensive coordinator who welcomes flexibility and does not appear to be stuck in his ways.