Rams make big splash, Chargers take patient approach in battle for L.A.

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams put together a dream team in the first month of NFL free agency, grabbing the headlines in the battle for L.A., while the Chargers took a more conservative approach this offseason.

Both teams are coming off winning records last year, with the Rams winning the NFC West division and reaching the postseason. The Chargers just missed the playoffs at 9-7.

With the draft two weeks out, which blueprint will lead to more wins once the season starts in September?

"Flashy don’t win games," Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told the Los Angeles Times.

Perhaps, but certainly the Rams have been the winners this offseason in the battle for NFL fans in Los Angeles.

Rams general manager Les Snead was ultra-aggressive in adding talent to his team, trading for top-flight cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, along with a No. 1 receiver Brandin Cooks.

The Rams also added to an already talented defensive line that includes Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers with the addition of game-wrecker Ndamukong Suh.

Snead recently said he believes he built the Rams for long-term, sustainable success.

However, managing those intense, volatile personalities will be a priority for young coach Sean McVay.

While the Rams swung for the fences in trying to defend their NFC West crown, the Chargers are relying on stability and consistency, hoping to build on a 9-3 finish last season after starting the 2017 campaign 0-4.

“Going into this year, we’re not worried about the move,” Lynn said. “We’re not worried about training camp -- all those gymnastics. We’re not worried about hiring new coaching staff.

“I feel very comfortable going into this year. Much more so. Just being with the personnel department for a year, we’re under the same philosophy, pulling in the same direction. I’m getting to know those guys and develop those relationships. I feel much better about that.”

The Chargers have all but one player under contract (free safety Tre Boston) returning from a defense that allowed just 17.3 points per game last season, No. 3 in the NFL.

The Bolts also return several playmakers on offense, including quarterback Philip Rivers, receiver Keenan Allen, running back Melvin Gordon and tight end Hunter Henry.

Along with Lynn returning for his second season, the Chargers should benefit from continuity, with offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley both signing multi-year deals this offseason to remain with the franchise.

At stake for both franchises is attracting enough fans in Los Angeles to regularly fill a new, 70,000-seat Inglewood Stadium set to open in summer 2020.

“Look, our goal is to win a championship,” Chargers GM Tom Telesco said. “And in order to do that, you either need to one, win your division, or two, secure a wild-card spot.

“Obviously, we did not win the division this year. We had enough wins for a wild-card spot, but obviously lost on the tiebreakers. So, here we are.”