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Mailbag: How Might the Offense Change Without Keenan Allen?

*Q:  How do you see our offense maybe changing with Keenan out for the year? – T.J. Pederson *

A:  It’s not practical to expect one person to replicate what Keenan Allen brought to the table.  I thought Philip Rivers said it best how there just aren’t players waiting around for a Tuesday workout that can do what KA13 did, so it will be a committee approach.  As far as how our offense might change, that remains to be seen.  I’m not sure it necessarily will.  The Chargers’ system is in place, so the likes of Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman and Isaiah Burse must step up.  However, the team may make some tweaks each week depending on the opponent.  Perhaps they run more two-tight end sets, or maybe certain game plans will revolve around pounding the rock more than other weeks.  We’ll all find out Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

*Q:  Know you dig stats so what is a weird one than stands out from the first game? – Jacoby Reed *

A:  One “weird” stat that stuck out was how Travis Benjamin caught seven passes for 32 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry.  Some of those were on smoke screens (and) Head Coach Mike McCoy noted that the rest of the team must block better in order to give Benjamin room to do damage.  Still, what stands out to me was how Benjamin was used.  Most assumed he would be mainly a deep threat target to stretch the field, and he still will be.  However, defenses going forward now know they can’t just play him deep.  They will have to respect his underneath routes, which should soften coverages to allow him to beat them with his speed.  I also loved how Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt motioned Benjamin into the backfield on a few plays to create mismatches. 

Q:  Too many fire emojis for the Color Rush unis! Are we only wearing the Powder unis once then this year because of the Color Rush? – Devin Fogerty

A: Those royal blue ones are too nice!  But you don’t have to worry – the Bolts will be wearing the powder blue jerseys twice this year.  The first time will be on Nov. 6 vs. the Titans for the Alumni Game and the second on Dec. 18 vs. the Raiders. Anyway, the fan response on our Color Rush choice has been really positive, and glad you like them too, Devin. I think my friends and family can already guess what Charges apparel I’ll be buying them for the holidays! Check out this gallery below for an in depth look at the details if you haven’t seen them yet.

Q:  Phenomenal job on the Rivers piece. Rivers is special! Hope you do more of those profiles going forward. Any plans? – Cam Nezam

A: Thank you!  It’s a pleasure to write those types of stories.  And thanks to Philip, his father and wife for letting me spend two months with them to document the making of a Chargers Icon.  I do plan on doing more going forward.  If you or anyone have any recommendations, please drop me a line!

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