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Brandon Staley wants offense to reach ‘different level’ in 2023

Justin Herbert recorded a career-low 25 total touchdowns this season.

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday afternoon, head coach Brandon Staley spoke with the media for the first time since the team announced the firings of both offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day.

He fielded questions from the usual suspects, mainly revolving around the decision to move on from Lombardi, where does that side of the ball go from here, and whether or not he held much weight in the rumors that he was coaching for his job during the team’s 31-30 loss to the Jaguars in the wild card round.

When it came to the firing of Lombardi after two seasons calling the offense, Staley noted that there is a “different level” that side of the ball can get to and it’s one of their main goals as they head into the 2023 offseason.

Here’s the full quote from Staley and 67-second video posted on the Chargers’ Twitter to go along with it:

“There’s a different level that we need to play at offensively, particularly at the line of scrimmage and the run game, and having the marriage of the run and the pass,” said Staley. “Creating more explosions on early downs. And I think there’s just a style of plays that’s still out there for us. I think we made improvements each season, heading where I think we can ultimately go as a football team. Again, these aren’t easy decisions but I think you’re not aren’t trying to stay in a certain place. You’re always trying to take your game to a different level, and that’s what it’s about. It’s about us creating that optimum level knowing that our team can get to.”

The Chargers missed 11 total games combined from Keenan Allen and Mike Williams this season, with Williams missing the most important game of the season in Jacksonville this past Saturday. By the end of the season, Justin Herbert had thrown for just 25 touchdowns, by far the lowest total of his young career. Three times he threw for zero touchdowns this past season. That only happened one other time from 2020-2021 against the Patriots during his rookie campaign. While you can blame some of it on injuries, it’s up to the offensive coordinator to get the most of what he has to work with, and I’d argue there was still enough talent on the field through those lost games from Allen and Williams to get into the end zone at least once.

Whatever this “different level” is that the offense can reach, let’s hope it’s actually an offense that utilizes Herbert’s strengths and not one that we were simply told would do just that.