As the Los Angeles Chargers' new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore's primary job is to build the best possible environment for Justin Herbert to succeed. Offenses only go as far as their quarterback can take them these days, and in Herbert, L.A. has one of the best; but for the past two years under previous coordinator Joe Lombardi, the unit did not live up to lofty expectations.
Injuries played a role in that, as did the design of the offense itself. But so did the near-total lack of a run game. The Chargers ranked 22nd in Football Outsiders' rushing offense DVOA last season, and according to Tru Media, they had the second-lowest share of their rushing attempts gain five or more yards, and the seventh-highest share get stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Moore, obviously, is charged with improving the team in this area.
"There's a lot of good things here, so certainly we've tried to embrace that as much as we can, to keep all the good that's in place and, hopefully, bring a few things in some other areas that can help us, as well," per the Orange County Register. "Statistically, the run game, you want a little bit more out of it. … Schematically, there will always be little adjustments, little flavors, that may look different."
It wasn't guaranteed throughout the offseason that Moore would have Austin Ekeler back in the fold to lead the run game, but after Ekeler signed a re-worked contract, that will indeed be the case. And Moore is fired up about it.
"Really excited to get to work with Austin," he said. "I think that he's been, obviously, one of the top guys in this league. He has had such an impact on this place. Really excited to start building this thing together and building his role in this offense. I'm really, really excited."
Of course, the run game depends heavily on the play of the offensive linemen in front of the backs, and it seems like Moore has some of those guys on board with his plan on that front.
"For us, up front, he's really simplified a lot of things," left tackle Rashawn Slater said. "He's allowed us to go a lot quicker and not think as much, which we always love. I think it's going to be really fun. I think, like I said, simplification. You'd be surprised how much can change in the run game whenever certain rules are re-arranged, just the coaching points change a little bit. I think that's going to allow us to play really fast and give us a chance to get explosive-type plays."