LA Chargers: What to expect from Linval Joseph on the Chargers defense
By AJ Reed
Linval Joseph is one of several new faces on the LA Chargers.
The main concern for the LA Chargers‘ defense last year was their ability to stop the run. This was made especially clear after Week 1 when Marlon Mack ran all over the Chargers, posting up 175 yards on 25 carries, averaging 7 yards per carry.
That stat line would be a sign of things to come for the Chargers’ season. Time and time again the Chargers could not stop the running back in crucial moments and games, which certainly did not help the already struggling team.
In the offseason, however, the Chargers added big defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Coming in at 6 feet 4 inches and 328 lbs, Joseph will be able to plug up just about any gap up the middle and stop just about any running back.
In the passing game, Joseph will take some pressure off edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram allowing them to get more pressure on the quarterback and hopefully more sacks.
Pair this alongside a healthy and hungry Derwin James, a re-energized linebacker core adding Kenneth Murray, and an already electric defensive back group, the Chargers should be ready for any offensive challenge that comes their way, including Patrick Mahomes and the very explosive Kansas City Chiefs.
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One of Linval’s weaknesses is his ability to stay healthy, having played a whole season only once in the past three years.
However, this is nothing new for Charger fans, losing at least one star player every year before the season even starts.
Another weakness is that Joseph is probably one year past his prime, meaning his production will start to decline steadily every year from now on. Although, the Chargers should easily get 2-3 years of value out of him.
Going into the 2020 NFL season, Charger fans should be looking at it as a win-now season, instead of a bridge year. It is clear the front office believes in it making big splashes in free agency to improve the team’s weakest parts.
Linval Joseph’s signing will come as one that greatly improved the LA Chargers come playoff time.