LA Chargers who will thrive under Brandon Staley: Kenneth Murray
Kenneth Murray had a pretty good rookie season, but some of it was mired in trying to figure out exactly what his role should be. In the New England game for example, we saw how great Murray could be as a pass rusher. He had 14 tackles in that game as well, including two TFL’s. Of course, all non-Murray tape from the Patriots’ game should be burned and never watched again.
Other than that game though, it seemed like there wasn’t a really well defined role for Murray. Staley has stressed playing to his stars’ strengths and I think that means getting back to what worked at Oklahoma for Murray. Sure, Murray will still have to improve and develop as a coverage linebacker.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play to his strengths of using him in blitz packages, both off-ball and off the edge. The Chargers also often refused to use him as a quarterback spy this year for some reason.
Another big boost for Murray is linebackers coach Joe Barry coming over from the Rams with Staley. He did wonders in working with Cory Littleton, Micah Kiser, and other inside linebackers over the years. He also has some familiarity from working with the Chargers previously as linebackers coach under John Pagano.
Out of this group of players, Murray has the most to gain from the hiring of Staley.