Chargers beneficiaries: Linebackers
Resting: MLB Denzel Perryman
Benefits: MLB Drue Tranquill, LB Kyzir White
Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said rookie LB @DTranquill stood out during rookie minicamp, doing a nice job of calling the defense as the MIKE linebacker. Tranquill be trained to play all three LB positions, but is starting out at MIKE.
— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) May 20, 2019
For as good as Denzel Perryman is on the field, his recurring injuries have prevented him from turning into a consistently great linebacker. Last year, No. 52 missed the second half of the regular season, forcing the Chargers to turn to men like Jatavis Brown, Hayes Pullard, and even Uchenna Nwosu to play MIKE.
This year, the Chargers will have to viable options to sit behind Perryman in Kyzir White and Drue Tranquill. Both will be given the chance to play multiple positions as young athletic linebackers. As Perryman likely sits out much of the offseason, both White and Tranquill could play well enough to make a case for even a starting role. The Chargers have made it apparent they are moving towards bigger and more athletic linebackers; why not give the superior athletes a chance to shine?
Resting: LB Thomas Davis
Benefits: LB Kyzir White and LB Jatavis Brown
The immediate thought when Thomas Davis was brought in to play the WILL: What happens to White? As a rookie last year, White earned a starting job after demonstrating a quick understanding of the defensive scheme, as well as being a far more imposing player physically than most of the linebackers on the roster. With Davis being penciled in as the starter, what happens to White? As previously mentioned, he’s currently working at MIKE, and will now have to play behind Davis as well. White will have to earn a role with the team, and having the veterans rest will help him show he is the same player post-injury.
Brown, though statistically productive as a reserve linebacker, is now starting to be pushed off the roster. If White can’t find a starting role, how does the man who lost his job to him find a role at all? With Davis unlikely to do much this offseason, Brown will need to fight to show he’s a player worth keeping around the following season.