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Chargers' new coaches expect to create 'epic' offense

Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / Getty

The Los Angeles Chargers' new coaching staff has sky-high expectations for their offensive unit in 2024.

"We're trying to create something epic," run game coordinator and tight ends coach Andy Bischoff said Monday. "This morning in our team meeting with the offense, (offensive coordinator Greg Roman) used the word 'epic' in front of the guys and defined it. Why not create something different that's never been done? As much success as we've all had in different places in doing different things, none of that matters. All that matters is right now and creating that here."

The Chargers hired Jim Harbaugh as head coach in one of this offseason's biggest moves. The 2011 NFL Coach of the Year put together a new coaching staff that features Roman, Bischoff, and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, who worked with him at Michigan. Los Angeles also named Joe Hortiz as its new general manager.

The main goal behind L.A.'s coaching changes is to help Justin Herbert - one of the league's most talented quarterbacks - take his team to the next level. Herbert, who was limited to 13 games in 2023 due to injury, has played just one playoff game since being drafted sixth overall in 2020.

"Epic is scoring points," Bischoff added. "You have to not turn the ball over. ... You want numbers that have never been seen before."

Prior to last season, the Chargers' offense had never ranked outside the top 10 in yards with Herbert. However, the defense has been below average for most of the quarterback's time in the NFL.

Hortiz, Harbaugh, and Co. stole headlines this offseason after trading receiver Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears in a stunning move and releasing wideout Mike Williams. Defensively, the Chargers managed to keep veteran edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa by restructuring their contracts.

Los Angeles' most notable offensive additions have been running back Gus Edwards and tight ends Will Dissly and Hayden Hurst. The team owns the No. 5 overall pick in this year's draft.

"We want a group of men that are smart, tough, dependable, vicious players," Bischoff said of his squad. "It doesn't only have to involve the run game. Every down provides the opportunity for a competitive down, and we want that, and we're going to build that kind of a team through Joe's and Jim's leadership, and through the vision of our offense."

It'll be fascinating to see how the Chargers' new coaching staff explores Herbert's skill set and builds around him. The 26-year-old ranks second in the NFL in pass attempts over the last four seasons behind only Patrick Mahomes. Meanwhile, Roman is known for his run-heavy schemes.

The former NFL Assistant Coach of the Year said in February that the Chargers are focused on building "a great running game" around Herbert. With Roman on the sideline, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was named NFL MVP back in 2019.

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