On Tuesday evening, multiple NFL insiders reported that the Chargers will soon officially announce the hire of former Ravens offensive coordinator to Jim Harbaugh’s staff.
Per Ian Rapoport as of 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday evening, the supposed deal between the Chargers and Roman is done and agreed upon. All that’s left is an official announcement from the team, who also just announced the addition of former Michigan staffer Jesse Minter as defensive coordinator.
Greg Roman’s deal is now agreed to and done, per source, and he’s set as the #Chargers offensive coordinator. A huge hire for Jim Harbaugh, locking in one of the most accomplished OCs around. https://t.co/GYKiumqGJn— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 7, 2024
The hire of Roman is understandably going to be polarizing for the fan base. During his stint with Harbaugh and the 49ers up through his first few seasons with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, Roman had been one of the most-accomplished play-callers in the NFL. When it looked as if his offenses were becoming stale during the latter part of his tenure in Baltimore, Roman stepped down following the team’s playoff loss to the Bengals in the 2022-2023 playoffs.
On one hand, Roman is one of the best run game developers in the NFL. On the other, fans are worried that his style of offense could potentially limit the ceiling of their strong-armed quarterback. For what it’s worth, however, Harbaugh is not expected to put in an offense that would lead to Justin Herbert throwing for 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns per season. He wants to run the football and use play-action effectively. So while Herbert’s attempts will likely see a drop, his completion percentage and yards per attempt are likely to rise this coming season.
It should also be noted that Roman did not necessarily have any quarterback aside from Jackson that could hold a candle to Herbert’s abilities in terms of being an elite pocket passer. He had Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo, and a handful of games with the Ravens quarterbacked by Anthony Brown, Tyler Huntley, and Josh Johnson. Throughout all those seasons, his offenses still averaged a finish of 12th in the league in points per game. That’s not horrible by ay means, and it’s easy to see how Herbert could elevate that number into the top-10.
So at the end of the day, I think it’s fair for both parties to have their high expectations and/or cautions in regards to Roman as the offensive coordinator, but there’s one detail I’d like to point out as well.
For multiple years under Harbaugh, Michigan has used a collaborative effort when it comes to calling the offense. When Matt Weiss and Sherrone Moore were named co-coordinators, they truly collaborated. In this snippet from an article at MLive.com back in 2022, you can see former play-callers discussing the structure, calling it a “stroke of genius” by Harbaugh. Now, Harbaugh has said that the final say on calls is still his, but it seems like he truly embraces the idea that a group effort can work in this regard.
So what I’m essentially saying is, don’t necessarily hold all the weight in Roman’s status as the offensive coordinator. Pass-game coordinator Marcus Brady could easily be in the mix when calling pass plays while Roman handles the run game calls.
Either way, I wouldn’t let yourself look too much into the hire until we actually know how responsibilities are handed out.