As the Rams reshape their defense in an effort to get to the proverbial next level, the Chargers run the risk of getting left in the Southern California dust.
With both teams sharing the nation’s second-biggest market (and, soon, the NFL’s newest stadium), the Rams and Chargers currently are in a competition for hearts, minds, and wallets in L.A. The Rams are winning.
In contrast, the Chargers are in denial.
“I guess I just don’t look at it like that,” G.M. Tom Telesco said last week when asked whether he believes that his team is competing with the Rams. “It’s such a big city. I never look at it as we’re competing with the Rams at all. Maybe it’s because I know [G.M.] Les Snead well. I know coach [Sean] McVay well. They’re good people. . . . We’re competing with our division, number one, and then the rest of the NFL, number two. Not so much with the Rams. I think there’s plenty in the market for everybody. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re brand new to the market. We have a big fan base we have to build. It’s going to be measured in years. It’s not going to be games.”
He’s right, but the Rams got a head start in 2016, emerged as the better team in 2017, and are the early winners of the 2018 offseason. The Chargers, while they may have big plans for the coming weeks, need to consider trying to match what the Rams are doing.
Here’s a good start, suggested in Thursday’s PFT Live: Sign cornerback Richard Sherman, reuniting him with former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and bringing Sherman home to L..A. The good news is that, with the Rams trading for Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, the Chargers wouldn’t have to compete with their cross-town team to get Sherman.
The better news is that Sherman would bring sizzle to a Chargers team that needs to be treating each game of each season as a chance to build the fan base.