The San Diego Chargers spent a majority of last season with quarterback Philip Rivers in shotgun, but head coach Mike McCoy expects that to change during the 2015 NFL season.
According to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams, McCoy expects the Chargers to go under center more often in order to establish the running game as a legitimate threat.
“We lived in the shotgun last year, and it was something we said in the offseason that we wanted to play more under center. It’s not as easy for the defense, and there’s only so much you can do in the gun running-game wise. You have a lot more flexibility, and they can’t tell as much what direction you’re going when you’re under center.”
Williams notes San Diego took 752 shotgun snaps in 2014, the third-highest mark in the league. However, after signing Orlando Franklin and selecting running back Melvin Gordon in the first round of the 2015 draft, the Chargers are better suited to pound the football.
But there’s probably a bit of gamesmanship involved here. McCoy added that San Diego’s gameplan will “change from week to week,” so there will be plenty of games when Rivers launches 35-plus passes.
Plus, if the Chargers fall behind early, McCoy and Co. might be tempted to rely on Rivers’ arm more than Gordon’s legs, especially since vetearn Danny Woodhead is an elite pass-catching back.
San Diego will absolutely cut down on shotgun snaps, but when the pressure is on, it wouldn’t be surprising to see McCoy cave and return to what the Chargers know best.