Readers ask our NFL football experts questions about the Rams, the Chargers, and the league. Rams beat writer Gary Klein and Chargers beat writer Jeff Miller respond:
I think offense looked better than Joe Lombardi and Shane Day in Justin’s first year under Shane Steichen and QB coach Pep Hamilton. That includes last year and definitely this year. No commitment or consistency in the running game, lots of dink dink passes with no real long game commitment. Scatter shot only. Terrible gimmicks or tricks etc. What do you think? Agree or disagree and why I would like to know. Now by the end of the year, Shane will be the next big thing! Teams are set up to hire him. And Hamilton is getting the most out of this under-talented Houston team.
Randy Strunk, San Diego
Miller: The Chargers’ 2020 offense ranked 18th in points and ninth in yards. Last year’s offense finished fifth and fourth in those categories, respectively. Under Lombardi in 2021, Herbert and the offensive were significantly better than the year before. Aside from Herbert’s health, which will remain the biggest obstacle for the foreseeable future, the offensive line would be my biggest concern. LT Rashawn Slater and C Corey Linsley’s injuries were crippling.
Will Malcolm Brown be activated and will the Rams use him on the goal line in short situations? He’s a powerback and doesn’t fiddle around often.
Adrian T, Los Angeles
Small: The Rams added Malcolm Brown to the practice team to add a veteran presence to a positional group that includes Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers. Brown wasn’t active against the Cardinals, having only arrived a few days earlier. I don’t think the Rams would activate him from the practice team just for use in short-range situations, although he could help fill that role. He is a proven pass protector and special team player.
When will Dean Spanos sell the team?
Mike Basalo, Goodyear
Miller: Never. His son John is scheduled to take over if Dean decides to pass the torch.
Why does the NFL constantly preach “player safety” and then pay lip service to it by letting teams play after Sunday games on Thursdays…and not saying goodbye to them after a Monday night game?
Michael McInnis, Los Angeles
Small: The simple answer is money. Networks, and now streaming services, are paying NFL owners billions to broadcast games. Honestly, I’m surprised the league didn’t stake out territory every day of the week.
Without a deep threat, the Chargers will be in trouble. Are there potential players out there that the Chargers could bring? What about Will Fuller and/or Eric Fisher?
Daniel love, eagle
Miller: Late September is not the time to look for NFL-level talent. Any players not signed at this point are either still working from injury or are not particularly attractive for some reason. Still only 28 years old, Fuller had his most productive season in 2020. But he only played three games last year. I haven’t heard Eric Fisher’s name in a while. Certainly there is interest in him in the league. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that he has apparently chosen to remain unemployed thus far.
Is there any hope the Bolts can sign or trade a left tackle as this team doesn’t make the playoffs with Storm Norton and Herbert might not finish the season?
Harvey Smith, Dayton
Miller: To be fair, the Chargers aren’t going anywhere this season unless Herbert gets any closer to health than he was on Sunday. As for the LT position, I’m not sure that many teams have starting caliber LTs on the bench and it’s only week 4 which means teams aren’t ready to exit this season and their starting LT to exchange There are still free agents out there, but the loot is small at this point. You’re right about Norton. He was terrible Sunday.
What is it about the Chargers that they suffer so many injuries every year? Is it a bad training program or staffing issues? Bad school? The field? It seems we lose more players to injuries than most teams and that happens year after year. Preseason analysts cited the Chargers’ “injury blunder” as a reason they wouldn’t predict them to perform well this year, and the injury record so far has backed them 100%. It has to get repaired!
Andy Sturtevant, Saco, Maine
Miller: See above for answer.
Small: All teams are losing players to injuries, but the Chargers appear to be losing more key players than most. I don’t know if that’s perception or reality. It’s unfortunate for NFL fans because the Chargers have legitimate stars who can appear on highlight reels each week.
When are the Chargers seriously considering contacting Sean Payton’s agent?
Joseph Becerra, Long Beach
Small: Coaching Sean McVay and Sean Payton in the same city with quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Justin Herbert would certainly be exciting. But in my opinion, Payton is destined for the Dallas Cowboys unless they win the Super Bowl.
Miller: If this Chargers season goes sideways — and it looks set to go that way — I think GM Tom Telesco will be the first to go. He has been in office for a decade and his teams have only made the playoffs twice. If that happens, no one knows at this point what it would mean for coach Brandon Staley.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-09-29/nfl-readers-qa-chargers-rams-offense NFL readers Q&A: Fans wonder how to help Chargers, Rams offenses