By Joe Reedy/AP Sports Writer
COSTA MESA (AP) – Kellen Moore is with a new team, yet he has the same mandate.
Take a good offense and make it great.
Moore is in his first season as the Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator after eight years in Dallas, including the last four as coordinator. With the Bolts in their second week of voluntary on-field workouts, Moore is putting the unit through what he called a first lap through the playbook.
“It’s a little bit fast,” Moore said, referring to the installation process over the next couple weeks. “There is going to be some stuff that is good, plenty of stuff that we have to clean up and redefine and all of that sort of stuff. Then, you just have to kind of ace it in training camp.”
Moore is quarterback Justin Herbert’s third offensive coordinator in four seasons. Shane Steichen directed the Bolts offense as well as being QBs coach under Anthony Lynn in 2020 before Lynn was fired at the end of the season. Joe Lombardi was the coordinator the past two seasons under head coach Brandon Staley.
Even though Herbert was second in the league last season in completions (477) and passing yards (4,739), the Chargers were inconsistent on offense.
Los Angeles was ranked ninth in total offense, but 20th in scrimmage yards per play along with having the third-worst rushing attack in the league.
The Chargers also had the second-biggest discrepancy between passing and running plays (65% pass to 35% run).
By comparison, Dallas was fourth in total offense, ninth in rushing and 21st in scrimmage yards per play last season.
After sitting behind his desk watching film for the first three months after getting hired, Moore has been happy to get on the field the last couple weeks to start installing the offense.
“You’re able to carry over what we can from the past couple of years and then build off some of the Dallas stuff that is, maybe, coming from a scheme standpoint,” he said. ”There are a lot of different ways of playing football, and you just have to keep it tight and condensed so that these guys can play fast.”
While Moore sounded this week as if he is not planning to do much tinkering with the passing game concepts, his bigger concerns have been with trying to make adjustments to the run game to get it back on track.
The Cowboys ran it 47% of the time last season, which was tied for the ninth- highest percentage of run plays.
Moore said the biggest thing he wants to do with the run game is streamline it so the team moves at a quicker pace.
“I think it’s identifying what your primary runs are going to be, your go-to runs,” he said. “Trying to identify what are going to be our strengths, and then you have to have enough flavors through a season just to be able to present different things to defense, protect your primary runs.”
The Dallas offense was balanced the past couple seasons because it had two great backs in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
Austin Ekeler, who led the league with 18 touchdowns from scrimmage last season, has emerged as one of the NFL’s top all-purpose backs and will be in the backfield one more season after incentives were added to his contract. But Moore will be looking for either Isaiah Spiller or Joshua Kelley to emerge as a dependable second back.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen, who has had five offensive coordinators since being drafted by the Chargers in 2013, has been happy with Moore’s approach to the offense during the offseason.
“He’s played before, so he knows what we like, what we don’t like, how defenses play, rather than sticking to something that has been in the offense for a long time. He’s willing to change it and make it more friendly to us,” Allen said.
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