New Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi had a brief stint running the Lions offense, but he’s spent the majority of his NFL coaching career with the Saints.
The New Orleans offense featured running backs like Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles in the past and it features Alvin Kamara at the moment. All three of those backs have been big contributors in the passing game in addition to working on the ground and Lombardi said on Tuesday that he sees the same capabilities in Austin Ekeler.
“I know that Ekeler has some of the skillset that I’m used to seeing in New Orleans with Reggie or Darren Sproles, or A.K,” Lombardi said, via the team’s website. “That’s exciting, to have someone with that skillset. It’s very exciting to come in knowing that those pieces are in place and that we have a good chance to hit the ground running.”
Ekeler put up 933 yards from scrimmage while missing six games during the 2020 season, but had 1,550 during a healthy 2019 campaign. If he can stay on the field with an improving Justin Herbert next season, reaching that number should be well within his reach.