5. Utilizing Kenneth Murray as a playmaker
Prior to the Saints game, Gus Bradley said he wanted to use Kenneth Murray as more of a playmaker. “He gets around the ball. He can run and hit. So when you see that, you try to get him around the ball a little bit more. I think that’s on me. That’s what I gotta look at,” was his exact quote.
Murray wasn’t really unleashed to that extent vs. New Orleans. It was more of the same bread and butter linebacker stuff with mostly remaining at the second level or dropping back in the pass coverage.
Maybe the next few weeks will be different though. In practice, Murray took some reps from the edge position. If the Chargers allow him to wreak havoc as a pass rusher, it would fix some of their defensive issues. Manufacturing pass rush pressure would certainly be a little easier with a physical, hard-hitting presence like Murray coming from the edge or up the middle.
The goal for the Chargers is ultimately developing the former Sooner into a Bobby Wagner MIKE level linebacker over the next few years. Bradley has mentioned this himself. While Murray has been good given what his role is, it would be nice to see the Chargers give him a little more responsibility. Have him get in there to take a shot at Minshew or blow up a run from Robinson.
If Murray is a threat to get into the backfield consistently on a run or pass, teams will have to start planning for it. That ultimately means some more freedom for Joey Bosa and Ingram as the season continues. At the very least, fewer opportunities for an offensive line to double cover Bosa would be a start.