Why the LA Chargers should push hard for free agent K.J. Wright
2. K.J. Wright helps the LA Chargers transition to a 3-4 defense
Brandon Staley has not fully committed to whether or not the LA Chargers will switch to a 3-4 defense in 2021. A big part of his decision to convert the defense will likely be based on who the team can add to the roster and whether or not they have the right guys to make the switch.
Staley has coached a 3-4 defense at every stop of his NFL coaching career and was an outside linebackers coach before becoming a defensive coordinator and a head coach, so I would say that it is fairly likely.
The Chargers need another outside linebacker that is multi-faceted in order to make this switch. Uchenna Nwosu will get a chance to thrive as the weak-side outside linebacker but the team needs someone to play strong-side.
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Staley already confirmed that Kenneth Murray will play behind the ball (keeping him mostly on the inside) and while Joey Bosa could get some snaps at outside linebacker, I prefer him getting most of his snaps at defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
Wright is exactly that multi-faceted outside linebacker that the Chargers need. He is not fantatic in rushing the passer but he would undoubtedly benefit from playing alongside Joey Bosa, much like Leonard Floyd benefitted from playing alongside Aaron Donald.
More importantly, Wright is great both against the run and in pass coverage. Outside linebackers have to do it all and Wright’s ability to pounce on runs on the outside as well as drop back into coverage is huge for this defense.