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LA Chargers: 4 questions surrounding the defense in 2021

Jun 7, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley during organized team activities at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley during organized team activities at the Hoag Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports – LA Chargers

3. Can Nasir Adderley find his potential in year three?

Nasir Adderley is one of the most important players on the LA Chargers defense. Adderley has been trusted with starting reps alongside Derwin James this season with the team not bringing in anyone to replace Rayshawn Jenkins nor drafting a safety early in the draft to help the depth of the position.

Alohi Gilman is the third-best safety on the depth chart but he is not going to get playing time over Adderley unless Adderlery completely sinks, not swims. That is definitely possible and the big question is which direction he will go.

Adderley has not been great thus far in his career but he has not been dealt the best hand either. He was hurt in his rookie season, got an unconventional offseason with no preseason in year two and played in a single-high safety scheme that did not really benefit him as a player.

The hope is that a normal preseason, albeit smaller, with a scheme change will positively impact Adderley and help him reach the potential that we all saw he had in college. Adderley can truly be a dangerous ball-hawking free safety that is a takeaway machine and we just have not seen it yet.

A lot of the secondary’s success hinges on Adderley making that leap in year three because if he doesn’t, the lack of depth at the safety position will be exposed. He is not the only member of the secondary with questions surrounding him.

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