June 20, 2024

Justin Herbert playing like Lamar Jackson? What to expect from Chargers OC Greg Roman

A week after being officially presented by the Chargers, head coach Jim Harbaugh is finalizing his coaching staff. Jesse Minter will be the Chargers’ defensive coordinator, Ryan Ficken will continue to lead special teams, and Greg Roman will take over as offensive coordinator.
From 2011 to 2014, Roman served as Jim Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator for the 49ers, as well as in Baltimore and Buffalo. Chargers supporters are divided on Greg Roman’s offensive strategy. Critics claim he will underutilize Justin Herbert’s skills by leaning largely on the running game.

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Fans, on the other hand, believe Harbaugh’s skills will be used to construct his coaching staff, as Chargers insider Daniel Popper has stated. In addition, this new OC may finally establish Justin Herbert as a sprinting danger.
Given Jim Harbaugh’s ideology and Roman’s history, we can predict how the Chargers offense will perform before they even on the field.

Jim Harbaugh, the head coach, has highlighted the need of maintaining a balance between the passing and running games. Though Harbaugh recognizes Herbert’s talent, he does not want the entire team to rely on his shoulders. As a result, Greg Roman appears to be the best offensive coordinator for establishing a consistent rushing offense.

Roman emphasized the running game at San Francisco, Buffalo, and Baltimore. He not only finished in the top 10 in rushing attempts every season, but he also ended in the top three seven out of ten times. Roman’s method worked, as he finished first in yards per rush four times (twice with the Bills and twice with the Lamar Jackson-led Ravens). The Chargers’ dreadful running game will be history.
Because Austin Ekeler is unlikely to return next season and Saquon Barkley is a cost-benefit nightmare, the organization would have to look to the NFL Draft and less expensive free agents to fill out the running back room, as well as develop Isaiah Spiller and Elijah Dotson.

Roman’s teams rarely throw the ball, thus his critics think Justin Herbert will not shine as he has in previous seasons. But how valid are these observations, and how would he alter Herbert’s playing style?
Greg Roman’s offenses have finished last in passing attempts. In reality, he finished 31st or 32nd in seven of his ten seasons as offensive coordinator, including when Lamar Jackson won his first MVP award in 2019. His passing efficiency, assessed in net yards per attempt, exceeds his passing attempts, yet it is insufficient for a Justin Herbert-type superstar.

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Nonetheless, Chargers supporters may be certain that Justin Herbert will not only remain an excellent thrower, but will also become a running threat moving forward.
Jim Harbaugh was “starstruck” when he met Justin, describing him as the NFL’s “crown jewel”. Though other key players are required to create the necessary passing and running game balance, Harbaugh believes Herbert will remain the team’s cornerstone. Even more so when we consider Harbaugh has never had a more talented and experienced quarterback, as well as Herbert’s hefty contract extension in 2023.
Justin Herbert is a dual-threat quarterback. He has demonstrated his ability to run the ball (for example, in the Steelers game in 2021), and he did so routinely while at Oregon. Fans and the media question his speed because of his stature and physical power. Both Harbaugh and Roman have coached mobile quarterbacks (including the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick), and Roman has spent the previous four years as offensive coordinator with Lamar Jackson, arguably the best dual-threat quarterback of all time.
Many Chargers fans are concerned about Greg Roman’s conservative, heavy-running style for next season. However, Jim Harbaugh is bringing him in to find the running and throwing balance that the Chargers have been lacking recently, as he wants a game plan that does not rely solely on Justin Herbert. They haven’t won many games since Herbert played “Superman”…

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