The LA Chargers’ likely switch to a 3-4 defense
4-3 defense has been the Chargers bread and butter since Gus Bradley became defensive coordinator. 2016 was really the last season the Chargers ran a version of 3-4 in John Pagano’s final season with the team.
That’s a big change for the defensive unit. Frankly, some players’ true positions will be changing. Derwin James will likely play STAR in a 3-4 defensive alignment while Kenneth Murray might be lined up at outside linebacker.
It’s also important to note that the Chargers switching to 3-4 doesn’t mean they’ll permanently play in base packages. Opposing offenses will see a lot of nickel/dime packages and quarters coverage.
• Cover 1 — 28.3% (27th) • Cover 3 — 25.4% (11th) • Quarters — 19.0 (1st)• Cover 2 — 14.1% (19th)
Blitz rate — 24.6% (19th)
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 16, 2021
Safeties like Rayshawn Jenkins and Nasir Adderley will likely be put into better positions to succeed. Adderley had a tough second year in the league but playing deep in a Staley 3-4 scheme with James should help him immensely.
While Bradley wasn’t a bad coordinator, in my opinion, his style of 4-3 didn’t really play to the defense’s strengths. The personnel the Chargers have on the defensive side of the ball is more likely to excel in a Rams 2020 system than a Seahawks 2014 variant.