For years the San Diego Chargers have had to worry about how to stop the zone blocking scheme defensively when going up against the Denver Broncos. In 2013, the tables will turn as the Bolts are likely to employ some of those same tactics offensively now that former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is their head coach and he has brought in former Buffalo Bills assistant Joe D’Alessandris to coach the offensive line.
With the Bolts, any change is a welcome one when it comes to the team’s success in run blocking. No matter who was carrying the football, running backs for the Chargers have had a difficult time even getting back to the line of scrimmage without having to dodge a defender or two. This scheme change says more about that, than it does about which concept actually fits better for the squad at this particular time.
Several San Diego linemen are set to become free agents soon and that may signal their departure from the club. Guards Louis Vasquez and Tyronne Green along with backup Rex Hadnot are all hitting to open market this offseason. Center Nick Hardwick is a mainstay with the Bolts and is sure to be back in 2013 and maybe even the much maligned Jeromey Clary will return at right tackle and flourish in this new scheme.
While the linemen are usually the most important aspect of the running game, having a solid guy carrying the football doesn’t hurt. This may bring about the end of Ryan Mathews in San Diego as the back must stick with his assigned gap to run through in the zone blocking concept. His time with the team has been relatively underwhelming and has caused more problems with injuries and turnovers than it has been worth. It could be time for a drastic change with the Chargers and as more pieces fall into place, it seems they may be trending in that direction.
Perhaps with D’Alessandris coaching the offensive line now, the team will look to bring in a back that fits his scheme better via free agency or the NFL Draft. C.J. Spiller was electric in the zone scheme with D’Alessandris in Buffalo and a similar type of back could find success with the Bolts next season. Change is certainly happening at a rapid pace in San Diego and fans should be excited about the new-look squad they are likely to see in 2013.