Welcome to the third installment of the Chargers mailbag on ChargerReport.com this season. I did mailbags periodically all year long, answering fan questions in regards to the crew.
You may enter submissions to incorporate within the mailbag by tweeting me right here.
Query 1 from @Whatsgoodnsport: Was this Brandon Staley’s greatest teaching sport plan?
Referring to Brandon Staley’s sport plan in opposition to the Dolphins in Week 14, I believe that was his greatest, no less than since I began masking him. The Chargers largely outplayed the Dolphins on each side of the ball, and regardless of the sport ending 23-17 in favor of the Chargers, I do not suppose the sport was as shut because the scoreline suggests.
The Chargers have been with out six defensive starters, together with Joey Bosa, Austin Johnson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, JC Jackson, Bryce Callahan and Derwin James on account of damage. But their sport plan was executed to close perfection with many much less skilled gamers on the crew.
The Dolphins got here into the sport because the No. 2 passing offense within the NFL and so they have been largely silenced for many of the sport. Tua Tagovailoa solely managed 10 assists and 4 of them got here on the Dolphins’ final run.
Staley’s plan of assault to disrupt Miami’s passing sport and restrict the rapids Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle was due for media protection. Staley’s philosophy was that if the Chargers’ protection performed a bodily mark of soccer on the line of scrimmage and blocked the Dolphins’ receivers early of their run, it would not permit their stretchers to run away from protection and thru mushy areas. .
It is as if Staley and the Chargers gamers on protection laid out the blueprint for the remainder of the league on the right way to dampen the Dolphins’ extremely productive offense. Big props to Staley and the gamers for his or her efforts on Sunday evening.
Query 2 from @Jeff77188779: Timeline of the return of Joey Bosa, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Derwin James, and can we see Rashawn Slater?
Joey Bosa has began doing particular person exercises, however nonetheless appears to be lacking Sunday’s sport in opposition to the Titans. The Chargers have but to open his 21-day activation window during which he can return to apply earlier than being reinstated off injured reserve. Staley stated ‘something is feasible’ when requested if there was an opportunity he would practice this week, however I really feel his comeback is extra prone to occur through the week 16 in opposition to the Colts.
Sebastian Joseph-Day’s knee damage is enhancing. He’ll participate in coaching on Thursday after Wednesday’s go to. His taking part in standing will rely upon how his damage reacts as soon as he returns to the coaching floor, so we’ll know extra because the week goes on.
Derwin James continues to be thought of day-to-day, Staley stated Monday. It appears his damage continues to be affecting him. He will not practice on Thursday, which suggests Friday would be the solely probability he has to step onto the pitch within the build-up to this week’s sport. It appears far-fetched that James goes to play in opposition to the Titans.
Rashawn Slater, whose bicep damage suffered in Week 3 was initially thought of a season-ending blow, really has an opportunity to return. Staley stated there are weeks to go earlier than it occurs if it involves fruition and that Slater’s schedule could be very totally different from Bosa’s. Slater is in rehab, however no return is imminent at the moment. It seems like Slater might return for the common season finale and play within the playoffs if the Chargers get there.
Query 3 from @Fantasyinfo: Justin Herbert is the tallest quarterback within the league and but he has essentially the most missed passes. Is that this a speaking level or is one thing being performed to attempt to rectify this?
Herbert, listed at 6’6″, has accomplished 19 passes from the road of scrimmage this season. That is a profession excessive as he had 17 final season and 12 his rookie yr.
It is fairly complicated, certainly. That is one thing that’s really a speaking level. Herbert and the teaching workers have been requested about it throughout their weekly press conferences. Actually, if there was a fast repair, they’d have already flipped the swap and performed it.
I believe the rationale for the rise in assists stems from defending the offensive line. When the pocket collapses, Herbert is compelled to do away with the ball and typically he does so with out a lot of a throwing window.
I assume a part of the silver lining right here is that you simply’d moderately have a batted ball than take a sack, lose yards and have the opportunity of dropping the ball to a fumble.
Query 4 of @DonnieDruin: Would you assist Sean Payton as head coach?
Sean Payton is undoubtedly the most popular title to be thrown round on this hiring cycle, and NFL Community stated he can be inquisitive about teaching one of many two groups in Los Angeles, so I perceive the query.
However then again, I believe it is too early to have a definitive place on whether or not or not the Chargers ought to goal a brand new teaching candidate.
Staley, with extra accidents than some other crew within the league this season, has the Chargers 7-6, knocking on the door of a playoff spot. Admittedly, he has not been excellent this season. There have been in-game selections which have come again to chunk him and the crew, however earlier than we flip the web page and assess the top teaching market, are we certain Staley will not convey this crew within the playoffs and can stay in his present place?
It is apparent the Chargers have not lived as much as the expectations they began the yr with. However the context of the state of affairs goes a good distance, particularly in relation to accidents. If they’ll discover a manner into the playoffs with the anticipated returns of Bosa, Slater and others, the Chargers might return to the shape they confirmed the primary two weeks of the season earlier than accidents set in. begin to accumulate.
The final 4 video games will, in all chance, play an enormous position in Staley’s future with the crew. However I believe it is vital to contemplate his complete resume and that features the house stretch that is looming on the horizon.
Query 5 of @ Joseuribe310: Why cannot the crimson zone assault be higher?
Regardless of the way you slice it, the Chargers’ crimson zone offense has been a weak hyperlink this season. They rank twenty seventh in crimson zone offense, which has actually held them again from capping drives with touchdowns.
I believe there are a number of points at play as to why they have not been efficient in that space of the pitch. They can not run the ball. The Chargers are thirty first on the bottom, which hasn’t helped their effectivity within the crimson zone. Contained in the crimson zone, the place the sphere is far smaller in area, having an efficient working sport would give them a serving to hand, even when it is solely minimal wins at a time.
The offensive line struggled to get a crushing push whereas blocking the run and it impacted their potential to attain on the objective line.
As for the passing sport within the crimson zone, it hasn’t been good both. However with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams again within the fold, I anticipate issues to enhance.
Working within the crimson zone largely is dependent upon attacking matchups. With Allen and Williams lastly wholesome, the pendulum ought to swing in favor of the Chargers. Now it is nearly working the matchup they like. Having the crew’s high two cross catchers as prime choices for Herbert within the crimson zone ought to yield a drastic enchancment.
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pseudo Cothrel is the editor of Charger Report. Observe Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for extra journal protection.