Jim Mora holds key to Chargers’ success, talks NFL draft
There are many factors that go into building a championship winning team. The Chargers were close in 2018 when they were 12-4. Their record since then is 12-20 combined and has missed the playoffs twice.
A lot has changed with training since they last made the playoffs. So what do they have to do to get back to the playoffs?
Well, former NFL and NCAA head coach Jim Mora analyzed the whole team and came to a conclusion.
“Protect Justin Herbert and give him a chance to be the great player he’s going to be,” said Mora.
It was evident last year when Herbert was sacked 32 times. That’s why general manager Tom Telesco and Co. has made some big changes to the offensive line during the offseason.
They cut right guard Trai Turner while letting center Dan Feeney, left guard Forrest Lamp and left tackle Sam Tevi walk in free agency. The only survivor was right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who ended up being their clutch.
Bulaga has reached out to center free agent and former Green Bay teammate Corey Linsley to sign him to the Chargers. He sold him the vision of new head coach Brandon Staley. They also signed Pittsburgh starting goaltender Matt Feiler and Detroit Lions goaltender Oday Aboushi.
The left tackle is the only big opening on the offensive line, and it’s the second most important position on any attack. The Chargers have a few options, but they all point to the draft.
In a Perfect World, Oregon’s Penei Sewell or Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater drops them at age 13, but that seems unlikely. Mora mentioned that in ESPN’s Todd McShay’s fictional draft, Sewell fell to the Bolts.
“I don’t know if you could miss out on that type of talent if you’re the Los Angeles Chargers,” Mora said.
The Chargers would be delighted. Sewell would be excited. Herbert would likely smoke a victory chest at his new offensive line and the addition of his former teammate.
The offensive line is drawn. What else, coach?
“Let’s improve the defense a bit through the draft or maybe use some pattern changes, maybe move some staff around to get some guys back,” Mora said.
There are a few holes on the defensive side of football. The team re-signed cornerback Michael Davis who made some progress last season. He still has things to work on, but expect Staley to help him continue his ascent.
The team are missing a real number one cornerback, which was Casey Hayward, but the team decided to part ways with him before free agency began. There are a few free agency options like veteran Richard Sherman, but in the second round one name that stands out is Asante Samuel Jr. His father was a Super Bowl champion cornerback who played with a chip on his shoulder. Two other names that might make sense are Jevon Holland from Oregon and Aaron Robinson from Central Florida.
“Let’s just start our quest to become world champions, and I think if you look at them through the years you’re going to see a team that is really going to come up, and they are going to do it on Justin’s shoulders,” Mora said.
So what are the next few weeks like before the NFL Draft?
“Each draft hall is a little different in the way it is done, but it’s a really intensive assessment of each player,” said Mora. “I mean, every player is on your board, the scout gets up and he’ll read his reports that you know, he’s been studying this guy for three years, and they’re going to talk about his background.
“They’ll talk about his character, his family, you know, all the red flags, his strengths, his weaknesses, his measurables, this trainer will have put together some kind of good, bad and bad out of the movie. Ugly movie, they’re going to watch this, they’re going to watch a game tape, they might have to put more game tape on to confirm or deny some things. The GM or the decision maker will stand up, and they will have a chat about this guy, and then they’ll start massaging their board. ”
“The Council” is something that is heard from every NFL general manager. Each table is different and is organized in different ways.
The Chargers have a lot of decisions to make by April 29. It could be one of the craziest projects of recent years.
Does Mora think the Chargers can be a Super Bowl winning team behind Herbert with a new coach and a few holes to fill in the roster?
“If the weapons are in place around him, those are the wards in place in front of him, and if they can improve their defense, which I think they will, I see no reason why they cannot. be a Super Bowl contender, ”explained Mora. “Now everything has to fix the injuries and all that stuff, but for me when you look at Justin, at least when I look at Justin, I see a guy who can definitely be a Super Bowl champion.”