The Chargers are a couple of days away from minicamp, and then they will be gone until training camp in late July. The work will begin as the Chargers players are still getting used to their new head coach Brandon Staley and his staff.
Chargers brass looked at the team's weakest position during the offseason, which was the offensive line, and improved it on paper, of course. It will be interesting to see how they mesh during camp.
They have also improved numerous other areas, but there is still cause for concern at certain positions.
- Defensive line
The defensive line is featured with Linval Joseph and Justin Jones, which both players are veterans in the league. Joseph was probably the best free-agent signing of 2020 for the team. He played every game and never gave up on a play. Jones has been a serviceable starter, but behind them, there is no depth. The team has third-year Jerry Tillery, whom Staley said he is excited about his potential, but from his first two seasons, there isn't much there. Staley could coach him up and maybe get him going. The team has Cortez Broughton and Christian Covington, but there isn't that much depth. Also, this team will face many good running backs, so there is cause for concern.
The depth at both safety positions should make the team nervous. Staley has called them defensive backs because he feels like many of them will play numerous positions. It seems like there is no real depth behind Derwin James and Nasir Adderley. Alohi Gilman didn't get much time last year because Rayshawn Jenkins was healthy pretty much all season, and Mark Webb is an incoming rookie. If one of the starters would go down, there would be a big problem. The team should try to bring in more depth like a Malik Hooker, who is coming off injury, but could be a low-risk high reward.
Like the other two positions, the starters are very good, but if Kenneth Murray or Drue Tranquill suffer an injury, the team would face a drop-off. The linebacking backups haven't' played much, with Kyzir White being the exception. It will be interesting to see if a player like Amen Ogbongbemiga can quickly climb up the depth chart and make a name for himself. Special teams coach Derius Swinton is already impressed with him, but all in all, there should cause for concern at this position.
Yes, the three positions are on defense: Staley's bread and butter, but there should be concern, especially with how the injury bug has hit them in the last few seasons. Staley could end up making moves to help improve all three areas in training camp, but as of right now, these three positions show the least depth.