The Chargers boast one of the most talented defenses in the league, but rarely look like it on the field. It’s time they make a change at defensive coordinator.
The Chargers defense is jam-packed with talent, thanks in large part to Tom Telesco’s ability to find gems in all rounds of the draft or at various free agent prices. In the draft, the general manager has found a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in the first round and an All-Pro slot corner in the fifth round. In free agency, he’s retained Melvin Ingram with a $65 million contract and found some guy named Casey Hayward for $15 million. He’s capable of finding talent on defense wherever necessary, and on a regular basis.
But have the Chargers ever really been considered a dominant defense?
There’s flashes of it, no doubt. Look at their throttling of the Packers earlier in the year, or how they limited Patrick Mahomes in Mexico City. The potential is there, and the talent certainly is.
Still, the Chargers have only ever really looked like a good defense under Gus Bradley’s tenure. It’s time to be great.
Bradley has been a good defensive coordinator, and the Chargers are much better off with him than they were with John Pagano (though Pagano didn’t have this much talent). But there’s just something missing with this defense, whether it be a lack of creativity, scheme issues, or simply being out-coached. If the Chargers want to support either an aging Philip Rivers or an inexperienced rookie, they need to find a way to take the next step as a defense. It’s time to let Bradley walk, and seek more innovative options elsewhere.