Michael Lombardi recently made a video for The Ringer titled “How to fix the Los Angeles Chargers in five steps”.
Let’s take a look at each of the steps Lombardi laid out in his video and see if his plan would have the Chargers contending for the Super Bowl next season.
Step 1: Stop the injury plague
“You’ve got to figure out why you had so many guys on IR. Figure out how you can stay healthy and keep the players on the field, not in the tub.”
Easier said than done. There are many factors that contribute to each injury, and it’s very likely that there isn’t just one specific cause that’s going to make it an easy fix. The Chargers have made some changes to their medical and training staff recently, suggesting that the team believes they can do a better job in that area. Maybe that will help, only time will tell. Injuries are a tricky thing.
Step 2: Extend Melvin Ingram
“Smart move franchising Melvin Ingram, but now you need to sign him to a contract extension because with Joey Bosa on one side and Melvin Ingram on the other side, that is a great nucleus start your defense. It’s a way to where you can dominate and handle passing games. “
Agreed, franchising Melvin Ingram was the correct move. Whether he should be signed to a lucrative long-term deal is up for debate. There have been conflicting reports about how much money YPC Mel is asking for, but should that number exceed $60 million. (some might even argue 50), then it would serve the Chargers best to part ways with the former first-round pick.
Ingram is a good player and there’s no doubt he can be incredibly disruptive at times. The problem is he is not that guy all the time, as he can be just as inconsistent as he is flashy. It’s incredibly frustrating watching him get into the backfield and then be unable to finish the play, which has happened quite frequently over his career. Can you justify giving a player like that 12+ million a year?
Step 3: Fix left tackle position
“Step 3, fix the offensive line. The number one area is left tackle. King Dunlap has had off the field issues going into this off-season. Whether that gets addressed or not, but you have to fix the left tackle position. It’s critical on Philip Rivers blindside.”
Addressing the offensive line seems to come up year after year when discussing the Chargers off-season, and left tackle is the favorite position to talk about. Let’s be honest here, the Chargers need more than a left tackle. They need two tackles and two guards specifically. This offensive line most likely is not going to transform into a stellar unit in one off-season. They need to start the process now, part of which does involve finding a long-term left tackle, but they’re also in desperate need of guards who can avoid getting pushed into Rivers lap and open up a whole or two for Melvin Gordon. The point is there’s a lot more to do than simply protecting Rivers blindside.
Step 4: Find Corners
“You need corners that can cover, corners that have instinct and can make plays on the ball would be perfect for the Los Angeles Chargers.”
First of all, uhh…yeah. Cover corners with great instincts and ball skills would be perfect for any team. Secondly, he just described Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward. Both players are some of the best in the league at what they do, it’s just a matter of staying on the field for Verrett. Now, the Chargers could actually stand to add some more talent at the corner position considering the recent release of Brandon Flowers. I am a fan of Trevor Williams and Trovon Reed, but it would probably be best not to thrust either of them into the 3rd cornerback role just yet.
Still, the corner position isn’t the biggest issue in the Chargers secondary. Safety play is what is hurting the team the most. There are multiple free agent safeties available that would be cost effective and provide an immediate upgrade at the position should the Chargers choose to go that route.
Step 5: Surround Rivers with a playoff team
“Hurry the eff up. Philip Rivers isn’t getting any younger. Hurry up and get Philip Rivers the right talent around him so you can win a Super Bowl in Los Angeles. “
Honestly, there’s not much to say about this statement. It’s very general, and not much thought appears to have gone into it.
Overall, the five steps Lombardi laid out feel very generic. They’re either the same points that have been talked about by every analyst for months or they’re so general they can apply to just about every other team in the league. Fixing the Chargers is going to take time. Unfortunately, there is no five-step plan that is going to bring them into Super Bowl contention just like that.
What do you think of Michael Lombardi’s plan to fix the Chargers? What would your plan for the team look like? Let us know down in the comments section.