The Chargers won nine games the past two seasons combined. Now, they start over with a new home and a new coach.
Anthony Lynn’s hiring as head coach was overshadowed this offseason by the team’s move to Los Angeles after 56 years in San Diego. They will spend the next two seasons playing in a 30,000-seat soccer stadium in Carson before moving into the new digs they’ll share with the Rams in Inglewood.
The Chargers will compete with the Rams and every other team in Los Angeles for attention and likely won’t get much of it until they win. The Chargers, though, do have a chance to exceed expectations with a talented roster that includes several rising stars, but they enter training camp with a number of questions, including how they handle the move to L.A.
Biggest positive change: Anthony Lynn’s run-first mentality. Yes, the Chargers were behind a lot last year, which partly explains why they threw 59.6 percent of the time. But no matter the record this year, expect Lynn to call running plays more than 40.4 percent of the time. Lynn played running back in the NFL. He coached running backs nearly his entire coaching career. Lynn, who had the best rushing attack in the NFL last season in Buffalo, preaches “ground and pound.” Melvin Gordon, if he stays healthy, figures to be a big part of the offense.
Biggest negative change: Moving into a 30,000-seat soccer stadium isn’t likely to provide the Chargers with much of a home-field advantage. It’s the smallest stadium to host a full NFL season since the Packers played their home games at 25,000-seat City Stadium in 1956. The Chargers, whose slogan is “Fight for L.A.,” will find everything new and different this season. Distractions likely abound, and how the Chargers handle those distractions likely dictates how the season goes.
Source: Pro Football Talk