The Kellen Moore effect: How the new Chargers OC will improve the team

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys
Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The Chargers officially announced Kellen Moore as their new offensive coordinator on Monday. Make no mistake about it: Chargers fans should be excited about the hire. The 34-year-old makes a lateral move following his four-year tenure with the Dallas Cowboys and numerous head coaching interviews throughout that time.

A big factor that contributed to Moore landing those interviews was offensive play design, along with an ability to make life easier at the quarterback position.

Bolts fans are interested in the immediate changes ready to unfold on offense. Here are some players and focal points Kellen Moore will impact:

The Kellen Moore effect on the Chargers:

Running backs

The Bolts were second in receiving routes to the flat last year, Austin Ekeler leading the team with a total of 151. None of that should come as a surprise with Joe Lombardi, but now that he's out, one would expect some regression in play design.

However, over the last two regular seasons, roughly 27% of Ekeler's targets came from this concept, while Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliot saw theirs at a 45% clip (data via The Edge).

Overall, this is good news. The offense emphasizes stretching the field vertically, and Ekeler still reaps the benefits since Kellen Moore targets the position efficiently.

Offensive personnel

Dallas got nifty with Tight End sets last season. They ranked top ten in both 12 (1 RB, 2 TE) and 13 (1 RB, 3 TE) personnel, according to data from SIS. The Chargers were among the bottom-half of the league.

Gerald Everett is an unrestricted FA, so if he's not brought back and Moore looks to replicate similar packages in Los Angeles, you've got to imagine the Bolts filling this position at some point through the draft.

The Chargers also ranked dead last between the numbers, targeting the middle on just 15% of their attempts in 2022 (nfelo). The front office will handle roster construction but expect Kellen Moore to open up this part of the field, regardless of who is catching passes.

Air yards and pace

All things considered; Justin Herbert has truly been neutered in the passing game. It's not a concern with usage or frequency, but of depth and distance.

Among QBs with 400+ dropbacks last season, Herbert finished with the second-lowest average depth of target at 6.4, above only veteran Matt Ryan (4for4). Dak Prescott (8.2) ranked inside the top ten.

The Cowboys were top three in plays per minute and top ten in no-huddle rate every year Kellen Moore served as their OC. His play calling isn't static and should exhibit motion as well, complimenting the speed/pass catchers this team looks to assemble for the 2023 season.

It's quite fair to be bullish about the positives Moore brings to the table. Some of his creativity diminished after Mike McCarthy took over for Jason Garrett, which led to him (wrongfully) being the scapegoat in Dallas.

MORE: 3 Cowboys free agents that could follow Kellen Moore to Chargers

Kellen Moore is getting the keys to his own unit with a toolsy unicorn under center and could very well be the guy who unlocks the potential of this offense.