The Los Angeles Chargers may have one of the best running backs in the entire game in Austin Ekeler, but he wasn’t always put in a position to succeed last season. The offensive line is partially to blame, but so was the poor scheme and play-calling of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.
Lombardi's overemphasis on the short passing game left Ekeler with a very limited playbook. Running between the tackles seemed like a chore, and it manifested during their historically infamous 27-point choke job against the Jaguars in the postseason.
Lombardi, who was recently named the Broncos' offensive coordinator, was fired and replaced with Kellen Moore. While he is known for his passing game exploits, Corey Linsley thinks he is the right guy for the job when it comes to boosting the RB room.
"I think the focusing part of it will help us a lot," Linsley said. "There wasn’t a scheme, and we never felt like we got in a flow. Some of it’s on us, some of it is on coaches, some of it is on everybody, right? It’s a collective effort here, and it always will be. Majoring in something, just like you said, I think it will help us take a step forward.
Kellen Moore could help Corey Linsley, Chargers running game
While Moore helped Dak Prescott put up consistently gaudy numbers, he also turned Tony Pollard into a 1,000-yard yard rusher while helping Ezekiel Elliott make the transition to a high-end short-yardage grinder. Dallas ranked near the top of the league in many rushing stats during Moore's tenure.
The offensive line promises to be much more robust this year. Not only will Zion Johnson be in his second season in the league, but Rashawn Slater will be nursed back to full health. It can't be understated what a healthy unit will do for Moore's vision.
Ekeler, Isaiah Spiller, and Joshua Kelley will all be under a microscope this season, as the former needs to show he is worthy of a bigger contract, while the latter two must prove that they can stick in the pros. Moore is better equipped for this task than Lombardi.
Moore has quite a daunting task ahead of him due to all of the pressure permeating through the Los Angeles facility, but his work in Dallas should help Ekeler, Linsley, and the rest of the offense get back to the success they had before Lombardi came over.