Chargers News NFL: Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams out until Training Camp due to an injury.



Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Season Preview




Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 7/13/2017.


Los Angeles Chargers Free Agency Recap


The Chargers got Russell Okung at left tackle. Okung gives Rivers as quality blindside.



Los Angeles Chargers Draft Recap


The Chargers didn't address their biggest need at the two safety spots. The offense is set up for the next three years with Mike Williams the top receiver in the 2017 NFL Draft and the top 2 guards in Forrest Lamp out of Western Kentucky and Dan Feeney.




Los Angeles Chargers Quarterback Summary: The Chargers have a Pro Bowl quarterback in Philip Rivers. They got no backup if he gets injured. Having Kellen Clemens as a backup ijs a last resort options for the Chargers. At the same time Rivers has to be relieved that the Chargers didn't draft a quarterback of the future at 7.


Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was the Chargers offensive coordinator prior to him taking a head coaching gig with the Titans and now he's back. The last time Whisenhunt was the Chargers' offensive coordinator Rivers had a career season. Shane Steichen was a starting quarterback for UNLV when Rivers was a starting quarterback at North Carolina State and now Steichen enters his second year as the Chargers quarterback coach. Rivers may be a huge fantasy sleeper for this reason.


Los Angeles Chargers Running Back Summary: Melvin Gordon is going to carry a majority of the carries in 2017 after taking over as the full time starter with Woodhead injured last year. You also got fullback Derek Watt, the younger brother of J.J. Watt as a blocker at fullback. Derek Watt has team chemistry with Gordon that goes back to their Big 10 days at Wisconsin. Head coach Anthony Lynn specializes in developing running backs and wants this to be a balanced run first team rather than a west coast team. Alfredo Roberts takes over at running back coach too. Roberts has developed running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends over his coaching career.


The Chargers had a lot of success using that run first balanced offense back in the day with LaDainian Tomlinson so we could see that type of play potentially re-ignite.


Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Summary: Los Angeles has one true #1 flanker receiver in Keenan Allen. You drafted Mike Williams to start out as a #2 guy on the outside to Allen, but if Keenan gets injured again for the third year in a row there is a strong possibilty Mike Williams becomes the #1 guy with Tyrell Williams complimenting him on the outside since Williams did manage to exceed 1,000 receiving yards. Travis Benjamin will be used as a slot receiver which is where he thrived when on the Browns. Dontrelle Inman provides an okay backup receiver, but he's not a starter. Los Angeles got Artivis Scott a teammate of Mike Williams at Clemson for depth as well.


Nick Sirianni was a great quarterback coach the last two seasons for Philip Rivers. Sirianni is coached the wide receivers in 2016 and reprised that role by returning to the same position in 2017.


Los Angeles Chargers Tight End Summary: Expect the Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry tight end tandem that people talked about after the 2016 NFL Draft to become a lethal tight end duo for the Los Angeles Chargers. Henry entered last years training camp as the fourth string tight end, but managed to work his way up to second string where he learned under Gates for a year. With Gates getting up their in age some believe Henry is gonna push him for the starting job which is why we may see the Chargers use a lot of two tight end sets. John McNalty did awesome in his first season as the tight ends coach with the Chargers which is one reason why he's back.


Los Angeles Offensive Line Summary: The Los Angeles Chargers have a much better offensive line now. You got Russell Okung at left tackle, Dan Feeney at left guard, Matt Slauson at center, Forrest Lamp at right guard, and Joseph Barksadle at right tackle. This can be a deadly starting five if everyone stays healthy.


Jeff Davidson was an awesome offensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2011-2015. He did an exceptional job with Melvin Gordon last year. I really question the decision by Anthony Lynn to let Davidson go and bring in an assistant offensive coach who has no experience as a positional coach in the NFL.


Pat Meyer was the offensive line coach when Rivers was at North Carolina State though so maybe we will see the Chargers put more of an emphasis on pass protection with Meyer than we will with Davidson using the offensive linemen to open up the running game. I still question this hire, even though Pat Meyer may work out.


I love the Chargers offensive coaches except for the offensive line coach. It's kind of understandable why Los Angeles hired him now though. The Chargers were 9th in points per game, 14th in total yards, 8th in passing yards, and 26th in rushing yards in 2016. I wouldn't be shocked if the Chargers became a top 5 team in one of those 4 categories on the offensive side of the ball.


Anthony Lynn has experience coaching up running backs despite being a head coach. Whisenhunt is awesome with his west coast offense and developing quarterbacks. To top that off you got a quarterbacks coach returning, a running backs that can coach running backs, wide receivers, or tight ends, and wide receivers coach that has coached Rivers before coaching the wide receivers. The tight ends coach kept his job, and the offensive line coach was the offensive line coach at North Carolina State. As far as offensive coaching staffs go this is actually one of the better units with a lot of quality offensive coaches.



Los Angeles Chargers Defensive Line Summary: The Chargers ran a 3-4 in San Diego. They are moving to a 4-3 thanks to the hire of Gus Bradley. The defensive line will have Melvin Ingram at 4-3 right end, Joey Bosa at 4-3 left end, Corey Liuget at defensive tackle with Brandon Mebane complimenting Liuget. Giff Smith did awesome as the Chargers defensive line coach last year. Gus Bradley can motivate these defensive linemen as well.


Los Angeles Chargers Linebacker Summary: Denzel Perryman will play 4-3 right outside linebacker. Perryman showed the versatility to play all 3 linebacker spots in a 4-3 defense in College. Jatavis Brown wowed people at linebacker to the point where he's now the starting middle linebacker. You also got Jeremiah Attaochu as your 4-3 left outside linebacker. Having Kyle Emmanuel and Joshua Perry in depth roles makes this a pretty good linebacker core.


Richard Smith is an awesome linebackers coach. Dan Quinn fired him midseason last year and took over defensive play-calling duties. The thing is Smith is a terrible defensive coordinator, but an awesome linebackers coach. He can ease into a role that better suits him while Gus Bradley calls the plays on defense.


Los Angeles Chargers Defensive Backs Summary: The Chargers have great cornerbacks. Jason Verrett began last season as the field cornerback. A season ending injury forced Casey Heyward to go from nickel to field cornerback after Brandon Flowers got cut. With Verrett as a field cornerback, Heyward at the boundary with him gaining some experience as a field cornerback, and Desmond King at nickel cornerback, the Chargers have three quality cornerbacks. Jaheel Addae and Dwight Lowery are backups. I'm disgusted by the fact that Chargers didn't make any effort to upgrade this.


Ron Milus is the Chargers defensive backs coach. Milus can develop cornerbacks and make them Pro Bowlers. Milus isn't as good with safeties as he is with corners though. That's one thing that will make Los Angeles suspect, but other than that you got remarkable defensive coaches on this staff that compliment the offense well outside of the suspect safety play.


The Chargers was better in some areas. Los Angeles went from 24th to 14th in sacks due to Melvin Ingram and Jeremiah Attaochu being in contract years along with the brilliant play of 2016 first round pick Joey Bosa who many considered to be the best overall player in the 2016 NFL Draft.


Los Angeles allowed more points going from 21st to 26th which is probably the biggest reason last years defensive coordinator John Pagano got fired, but you also have to take some of the injuries into account here.


This team allowed fewer total yards going from 20th to 16th. The pass defense dropped from 14th to 29th, but this was mainly due to Jason Verrett's injury. If Verrett, Heyward, and Desmond King all stay healthy for 16 games this defense could easily finish top 12 in pass defense.


Los Angeles had a top 10 run defense last year that ranked tenth in the NFL. With the depth at linebacker this may even become a top 5 run defense under Gus Bradley.



Los Angeles Chargers Special Teams Summary: Josh Lambo is pretty reliable. Rookie punter Drew Kaser went to Texas A&M and will start right away. Burse is their return man at both kick returner and punt returner, but I really wish they would put Travis Benjamin in this role. At the same time I can understand why its vital for Benjamin to stay healthy so he can be potent in the slot.


George Stewart is the new special teams coordinator. He's also the assistant head coach and would take over at some point if Anthony Lynn got fired which would make Stewart the interim head coach. Overall I really like this coaching staff that the Chargers put together.




Los Angeles Chargers Worst Case Scenario: The Chargers go 6-10 and finish last in the AFC West going 0-6 versus AFC West teams. There is absolutely no way this team regresses from their 5-11 record last season unless Rivers suffers a season ending injury.


Los Angeles Chargers Best Case Scenario: Los Angeles goes 10-6 and somehow by some miracle gets a wild card spot. I love what the Chargers did this offseason since they hired the right coaches, got a blindside for Rivers in Free Agency, and drafted four starters. At the same time, they play in a soccer stadium that seats 30,000 people which is huge disadvantage because every other NFL stadium outside of the Raiders seats at least 60,000 people at minimum. It's hard to see this team going from rags to riches winning the AFC West when you see how evident their biggest weakness is at safety.


Los Angeles Chargers 2017 NFL Schedule


Week
Date
Opponent
Time
Cable Network
Result
Week 1
September 11
AT
10:20 PM EST
ESPN
W
Week 2
September 17
VS
4:05 EST
CBS
W
Week 3
September 25
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 4
October 1
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 5
October 8
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 6
October 15
AT
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 7
October 22
VS
8:25 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 8
October 29
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 9
Bye Week
Week 10
November 12
VS
1 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 11
November 19
VS
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 12
November 23
AT
4:30 PM EST
CBS
L
Week 13
December 3
VS
4:05 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 14
December 10
VS
4:05 PM EST
FOX
W
Week 15
December 16
AT
4:25 PM EST
NFL Network
L
Week 16
December 24
AT
1 PM EST
CBS
W
Week 17
January 1
VS
4:25 PM EST
CBS
L


Los Angeles Chargers 2017 Projected Record (8-8): I love what the Chargers did and can easily see this team starting 4-0 if they beat Denver on Monday Night Football in Denver to open up the season. An 8-8 season is possible with this coaching staff. Believe it or not, I had this Chargers team going 10-6 getting the final wild card spot at one point. The Chargers going 10-6 with this improved roster isn't realistic. Going 8-8 is though.









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