LA Chargers’ last benefactor: The linebackers
Perhaps no other position besides running back has changed over the years more than the linebacker position. Gone are the days of players who were strictly “thumpers”, nowadays you have to have the ability to cover tight ends, running backs and even wide receivers on some instances. That being said, you still need guys who can serve as thumpers in the run game and help set your defense up in positive yardage situations.
It’s no secret that the LA Chargers have struggled to stop the run for years, and to that end Telesco has put a major emphasis on revamping the linebacker position.
Murray is the most talented and should be a disruptive force for this defense, Tranquill should be a tackling machine in his second year and is my bet to lead the team in overall tackles, but I also expect Denzel Perryman, Kyzir White and Vigil to all have roles this year and that’s a good thing.
The Chargers have five capable linebackers in 2020, this is the most depth they’ve ever had at the position in Telesco’s tenure.
The theme of aggression will continue here as well. As I mentioned earlier, Bradley typically prefers his linebackers to be patient and almost serve as a cleanup crew on the perimeter. In a cover two scheme with two deep safeties that should change.
Tranquill and Vigil both excel at patiently reading the opposing play and letting it come to them, but Murray and Perryman do not. Those two are downhill, physical and violent linebackers aka “thumpers”.
Putting Murray in the kind of role previously held by Thomas Davis would limit his ceiling as a player and that’s not fair to his development. Playing in a cover two scheme should let Murray be able to fly around all over the place and be a disruptive force. They can have Tranquill be the cleanup guy if they want, but Murray needs to have all the freedom in the world and that won’t happen in the conservative cover three scheme.
Ultimately, I believe these changes will benefit most of the defense, football is a violent sport and sometimes you need to let your players loose a little bit. Let me know what you think in the comments below.