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New-look Chargers

Los Angeles names Greg Roman as its offensive coordinator

The Chargers are going with Greg Roman as their offensive coordinator, and that has me wondering whether Justin Herbert will put up even top-10 numbers next year.

Roman has a long history of constructing effective, crushing running games. But passing? Not so much.

When Roman and Jim Harbaugh were working together at Stanford, they turned around that program by developing a dominant power running offense. And it was the same when they worked together in San Francisco. All 10 offenses that Roman has coordinated, in fact, have put up top-10 rushing numbers (using standard scoring – a combination of rushing yards and touchdowns).

When Roman was coordinating in Buffalo and Baltimore, he had four different offenses that finished with the best rushing numbers in the league.

GREG ROMAN'S RUSHING OFFENSES
YearTeamYd/GTDPts/GRk
2011San Francisco1281418.09
2012San Francisco1561721.95
2013San Francisco1381820.53
2014San Francisco1361017.410
2015Buffalo1521922.31
2016Buffalo1642927.31
2019Baltimore2062128.51
2020Baltimore1922428.21
2021Baltimore1461820.96
2022Baltimore1601420.98

While Roman has a lengthy track record of success with running the ball, however, his teams typically have lesser, limited passing attacks. He had offenses in Baltimore that ranked 14th and 19th in passing production, but all eight of the others ranked lower than 20th. (That’s using standard scoring – 6 for TDs and 1 for every 10 passing yards).

Roman’s 10 passing offenses have averaged 222 passing yards per game and about 23 TD passes per year.

Herbert, of course, is a better passer than anybody he’s worked with, but I don’t think the Chargers will be throwing it all over the yard, averaging over 280 passing yards per week. I expect this will be a dramatically different offense, often relying more on grinding things out with an old-school running game.

I expect they’ll be bolstering the offensive line, with Gerald Everett and Donald Parham replaced by larger, blocking tight ends. And I expect they’ll be adding a larger, more physical running back who’ll probably lead them in rushing.

Big changes coming in Los Angeles.

GREG ROMAN'S PASSING OFFENSES
YearTeamYd/GTDPts/GRk
2011San Francisco2161828.426
2012San Francisco2382332.422
2013San Francisco2152129.430
2014San Francisco2132028.827
2015Buffalo2412332.727
2016Buffalo2171728.032
2019Baltimore2173735.619
2020Baltimore1942729.529
2021Baltimore2692134.314
2022Baltimore1981926.528

—Ian Allan

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