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POLL: Does Lombardi's Playcalling Stink?

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  • Originally posted by FoutsFan View Post

    Yes and no. Lombardi overall has been doing a decent to good job. The biggest problem I see is when things are not working like with Minnesota he did not change or adjust to get out of the funk. His play call last night on fourth down was bad. His play call against the Eggles on 4th and goal was not good. I am not a fan of dialing up 2 yard pass plays when you need 4. That seems to me to be a big issue.
    ^ This...gotta be able to adjust in the middle of the game...not impressed with Lombo's ability to do so especially in tight games...

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    • Originally posted by FoutsFan View Post

      Yes and no. Lombardi overall has been doing a decent to good job. The biggest problem I see is when things are not working like with Minnesota he did not change or adjust to get out of the funk. His play call last night on fourth down was bad. His play call against the Eggles on 4th and goal was not good. I am not a fan of dialing up 2 yard pass plays when you need 4. That seems to me to be a big issue.
      Here’s the explanation for last night’s call.
      https://theathletic.com/2975027/2021...inst-steelers/

      21. The Chargers failed on a fourth-and-1 attempt in the fourth quarter that resulted in a turnover on downs. The Steelers took over and went on to kick a go-ahead field goal. The play call was a run up the middle to Ekeler. Staley said Monday that the call actually had a QB sneak tag in it, meaning Herbert had the option of sneaking it if the look was right. The Steelers clogged up the front with two defenders in the A gaps and two defenders in the B gaps, though. So the look was not there for the sneak. Staley said Ekeler could have bounced the run out to the left to gain the first down. “What needed to happen is Austin has to get that handoff and go left fast,” Staley said. “It’s easier said than done.”

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      • Originally posted by Xenos View Post
        21. The Chargers failed on a fourth-and-1 attempt in the fourth quarter that resulted in a turnover on downs. The Steelers took over and went on to kick a go-ahead field goal. The play call was a run up the middle to Ekeler. Staley said Monday that the call actually had a QB sneak tag in it, meaning Herbert had the option of sneaking it if the look was right. The Steelers clogged up the front with two defenders in the A gaps and two defenders in the B gaps, though. So the look was not there for the sneak. Staley said Ekeler could have bounced the run out to the left to gain the first down. "What needed to happen is Austin has to get that handoff and go left fast," Staley said. "It's easier said than done."
        Ekkie should have seen that up the gut was a no-go and should have gone outside, preferably behind Feiler and Slater...a rare mess-up by him...I still think the best call was Herbie fakes to Ekkie up the gut, then scrambles left for an easy 3-5 yards...

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        • Ted Nguyen provides a nuance breakdown of why Lombardi isn’t dialing up more deep balls. Both cons and pros.
          https://theathletic.com/2974623/2021...-his-position/

          According to TruMedia, Herbert leads in the league in pass attempts thrown between 2.5 and 3 seconds. Part of why he throws the ball so quickly is by design. Pro Football Focus’ Seth Galina wrote that the Chargers’ unwillingness to let Herbert attack downfield is costing them wins. Galina points out that Lombardi, who was an assistant coach for the Saints for 12 seasons, is calling plays that attack the same area of the fields that the Saints did for Drew Brees. Even at his peak, Brees never had the arm that Herbert does, so it made sense to attack short and intermediate as often as New Orleans did. Herbert should be getting more downfield routes called for him.

          The Chargers’ offensive approach is also due to some personnel issues. They don’t have much speed at receiver. Allen and Mike Williams are excellent possession receivers but neither of them threatens defenses much vertically. Additionally, the Chargers have major protection issues against teams with tricky pressure schemes.

          “We have some protection issues where this guy’s getting sped up,” Staley said after the team’s Week 8 loss against the Patriots. “And we’re doing everything we can to help those guys.”

          But this doesn’t totally absolve Lombardi’s unwillingness to call more downfield passes. Galina also pointed out that Matthew Stafford’s average depth of target took a significant hit in Lombardi’s two-year stint as Detroit’s offensive coordinator. While I absolutely agree with Galina that the Chargers have to find ways to throw the ball downfield more, I also believe Herbert’s experience in this offense could end up being beneficial in the long run. Hopefully, we’ll see Herbert cut loose more for the remainder of the season but he is getting a lot of valuable experience learning how to beat defenses without holding on to the ball.
          Sometimes watching Herbert in this quick-passing offense feels like watching a Ferrari owner who only drives in 35 mph speed limit zones. But for now, the silver lining is that Herbert is being groomed to play quarterback the way that we’ve seen so many quarterbacks who have played at elite levels for 10-plus years play, and that’s not an easy style to learn. He’s being forced to diagnose defenses and execute sound/safe concepts, only he’s doing it with a bazooka for an arm. The hope is that as Herbert gets more comfortable, the playbook will expand with more downfield passing eventually. I’m not truly comparing and ranking him with some of league’s top-tier quarterbacks here but I believe his continued development in his ability to play inside of structure will give him a dimension that some of his contemporaries aren’t as strong in. There will be a point in which he has to be unleashed and allowed to attack downfield more. If he gets that point, defenses can’t sit back because of his willingness to play in rhythm and throw short.

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          • It should be pointed out that Lombardi does have deep vertical concepts:
            Herbert’s most spectacular rhythm throw against the Steelers came when offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi called one of my favorite downfield concepts: 989.



            Diagram from the Saints 2015 playbook

            The concept has three vertical routes. The two outside receiver receivers run fades, while the inside receiver runs a middle read. Against two deep, the inside receiver goes vertical but angles his route so that he splits both deep safeties.

            Week 11, 14:02 remaining in the third quarter, third-and-13



            Allen was lined up in the slot and had the middle read route. Against 1-deep, Herbert would look outside first. But because the defense was in 2-deep, Herbert looked inside first.



            The defense played 2-man (man-to-man with two deep safeties). In this coverage, the defenders in man coverage play trail technique. They’re purposely playing a step behind their assignments and funneling them deep and outside toward their deep help. On the play, Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton had Allen in coverage.



            Allen created separation with a stutter but Sutton was still in decent trail position with both safeties over the top of him. Still, Herbert was able to throw the ball with just the perfect trajectory to beat the coverage. He threw the ball just out of the reach of Sutton but the ball still came in fast enough so that both safeties wouldn’t be able to close on it. Herbert took a seven-step drop and threw with no hitch 35 yards in the air. It was just an unreal throw that few quarterbacks in the league can make and he did with precise timing.

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            • Originally posted by Xenos View Post
              It should be pointed out that Lombardi does have deep vertical concepts:
              I don't agree with Malina.

              First, MW can get deep. He is a lot faster than Keenan.

              Second, Brees didn't hold the most yards for QB in history because he was throwing 5 yard routes every week.
              He dinked and dunked alot but had many long throws too. That will come for us as well.
              Again I'll say the defense is the bigger issue. Not sure why nobody including guys like Malina and some here can't see that.
              NE just kicked our butts again. Long throws I don't think would of won that game.

              I think next year is actually the year we are bigger contenders with better depth, more understanding of the offense and more talent on defense to have it come together.

              We may make the playoffs this year but unless a drastic chance comes to the defense, we won't go far

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              • Long throws werent much of an option with our crappy right side of the o line that game.RT is numero uno on list of importance this offseason.Protect the franchise.

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                • Originally posted by Boltjolt View Post

                  I don't agree with Malina.

                  First, MW can get deep. He is a lot faster than Keenan.

                  Second, Brees didn't hold the most yards for QB in history because he was throwing 5 yard routes every week.
                  He dinked and dunked alot but had many long throws too. That will come for us as well.
                  Again I'll say the defense is the bigger issue. Not sure why nobody including guys like Malina and some here can't see that.
                  NE just kicked our butts again. Long throws I don't think would of won that game.

                  I think next year is actually the year we are bigger contenders with better depth, more understanding of the offense and more talent on defense to have it come together.

                  We may make the playoffs this year but unless a drastic chance comes to the defense, we won't go far
                  Mike Williams has a listed 40 time of 4.54 and Allen has a listed 40 time of 4.56. Guyton runs a 4.35 40. It is not difficult to figure out which player should be running more deep patterns for us.

                  Malina is 100% correct in what he said, which is what I said weeks before he said it.

                  The deep routes open up the underneath if they have to be respected and produce easy scoring chances in their own right.

                  I agree that New Orleans threw deep passes within their scheme. In fact, I was the one that pointed it out in the first place as it was kind of my point.

                  The problem is that Payton called plays in New Orleans, not Lombardi. And what has generally happened with us being in the bottom 5 in air yards thrown in our passing game also happened with Stafford when Lombardi called plays for Detroit.

                  I have zero issue with our offensive system. I have major reservations about Lombardi being our OC and calling plays for us.

                  I do not think anyone is discounting the problems presented by our defensive shortcomings, but that does not negate Lombardi's major shortcomings as a play caller.

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                  • Originally posted by Boltgang74 View Post
                    Long throws werent much of an option with our crappy right side of the o line that game.RT is numero uno on list of importance this offseason.Protect the franchise.
                    We threw long passes regularly with a much worse OL last year.

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                    • Originally posted by chaincrusher View Post

                      We threw long passes regularly with a much worse OL last year.
                      Give us the breakdown of 25+ YP & 40+ YP from 2020 games 2-16. Include targets, completions, D&D, score, FP, and players involved.
                      Do the same analysis for 2021 through our current 10 games.
                      Once you’ve done this, posted it for all to see, we can have a more accurate discussion.
                      Let’s see this overwhelming data.

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                      • I'd prefer that he continues spit balling.

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                        • Originally posted by like54ninjas View Post

                          Give us the breakdown of 25+ YP & 40+ YP from 2020 games 2-16. Include targets, completions, D&D, score, FP, and players involved.
                          Do the same analysis for 2021 through our current 10 games.
                          Once you’ve done this, posted it for all to see, we can have a more accurate discussion.
                          Let’s see this overwhelming data.
                          I'll make a caveat...I think the games we lost we were mostly shutdown from the long pass. Whether it's defensive scheming against us or that we failed to utilize our players up to their ability is the question. Go at it boys....

                          Superbowl Bound! Yeah Baby!

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