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Los Angeles Chargers 2023 Season Preview: Staley's Job is in Jeopardy

As teams head to training camp and the NFL season approaches, The 33rd Team asks its experts to preview every team’s outlook for the 2023 season. In this installment, Marty Mornhinweg takes a deep dive into the Los Angeles Chargers

>> READ: Chargers Fantasy Season Preview

 Chargers Team Preview

What To Know: Offense

The Chargers offense will be fascinating to watch week to week to see new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's impact. The former Dallas OC will be paired with Justin Herbert, who has a great arm.

The challenge in Los Angeles will be figuring out how to improve the run game. They were horrendous last season, averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt and 89.6 yards per game on the ground.

If the Chargers can elevate their run game, even to an average rushing attack, Moore can utilize Herbert's arm strength to exploit defenses through play-action passes.

What To Know: Defense

They overhauled their defense in 2022. The team brought in and got back some big-time players like Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack and Derwin James. Now, they have got to keep these people healthy.

The Chargers had some injury-riddled games throughout last season. When injuries took place, execution of the scheme and player performance dropped off.

There were games against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs where the defense dominated for a period of time and then folded.

On occasion, when you overhaul a unit, it takes a year for those new top-flight players to play at the level of consistency that they have been before.

Now, why would that be? It's due to a new system, new verbiage, new coaches and new players around you.

Sometimes it takes half a year to a year to get these players playing at the high level that everybody expects. I expect to see a heck of a turnaround as far as consistency for the Los Angeles Chargers defense.

Biggest Off-Field Storyline

Players, don't get caught in the trap of concerning yourself with the head coach's job. Brandon Staley's job is on the line a little bit. He's a defensive-minded head coach, and that unit's numbers were poor.

There were some games that the Chargers were in charge of but went the other way in the second half. The players need to ensure they don't concern themselves with the state of the head coach's job. Do your job and do it really well — then you win games and the head coach is there for many more years.

Breakout Player Prediction

The breakout player for the Chargers could be the wide receiver out of TCU, Quentin Johnston aka Quentin 'Deep Speed' Johnson.

This man is fast, fast, fast, and he's talented. He averaged 19 yards per catch at TCU. Mix him in with Moore's offensive scheme and Herbert's arm, and this man could have a breakout year early in his career in the National Football League.

2023 Season Expectations

The expectation for the Chargers is extremely high. It would be disappointing if they don't make a pretty good run in the playoffs.

To me, the team's success hinges on Herbert. Does Herbert make the leap from being a young, talented but occasionally inconsistent quarterback to a top-five quarterback in the NFL? Can he do that?

If he does, it does not matter what happens this season and how far they go in the playoffs because it sets the Chargers up for many Super Bowls in the near future.

If that happens, the Chargers will be in good hands with Moore and Herbert.

Other Previews

NFC East: DAL | NYG  | PHI | WAS

AFC East: BUF | MIA | NE  | NYJ

NFC North: GB | CHI | DET | MIN

AFC North: PIT | CLE | BAL | CIN

AFC West: KC | LV | DEN

NFC West: SF | SEA | LAR | ARI

NFC South: TB | CAR | NO | ATL 

AFC South: JAX | TEN | HOU | IND  

Marty Mornhinweg is a former head coach of the Detroit Lions and a longtime NFL offensive assistant. He was the quarterbacks coach on the 1996 Green Bay Packers team that won Super Bowl XXXI. Follow him on Twitter at @MartyMornhinweg.