Former Chargers RB Austin Ekeler gushes over reunion with Anthony Lynn

Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

It was clear before the 2023 season even began Austin Ekeler would be leaving the LA Chargers at the end of his contract. Failed extension conversations, and subsequent trade talks, caused both sides to realize that it was the beginning of the end.

Ekeler proved this fortune to be true as he signed a two-year deal worth up to $11 million with the Washington Commanders. The veteran running back did not get the payday he wanted the Chargers to give him a year prior, but he did reunite with someone who played a huge role in his career.

Former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn joined Dan Quinn's staff in Washington this offseason as the team's running backs coach and run game coordinator. Lynn was Ekeler's first head coach who took a chance on him as an undrafted free agent from Western Colorado.

After three seasons away from Lynn, Ekeler appears over the moon to reunite with his former head coach. This is evident from his appearance on the "Up & Adams" show with Kay Adams.

An old Chargers reunion might be exactly what Austin Ekeler needs

Ironically enough, Austin Ekeler's most productive seasons came after Lynn left the team with Joe Lombardi as the offensive coordinator. The 2021 and 2022 seasons were extremely productive for Ekeler, as the running back found the endzone a combined 38 times with 3,195 yards from scrimmage.

Ekeler lost a step under Kellen Moore in 2023. It was clear all season Ekeler wasn't the same as a between-the-tackles runner and it showed both in his stats and team success. Ekeler averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry with a 47.5% rushing success rate. His receiving yards per game was the lowest since his sophomore season.

The veteran running back has seemingly accepted this transition in his career. When talking about the reunion with Lynn, Ekeler emphasized his ability to recognize the strengths of a running back room and deploy those strengths appropriately.

At this point in his career, the former Charger is not strong at running the football as an every-down option. The Chargers didn't get that M-O last season as Ekeler posted a career-high in attempts per game (12.6).

Lynn, at least according to his former running back's assessment, will realize what the Chargers failed to see. Ekeler may find new life with the Commanders, even if it means running the football less.