The area of the LA Chargers defense that got the most attention during the season was the run defense. LA had one of the worst run defenses in the entire league that led to having one of the worst overall defenses in 2021.
However, the secondary struggled immensely as well. The Chargers were the worst team on third down in the league and had some serious holes in the secondary. While the team dealt with injuries the lack of depth really showed.
It has been an assumption all winter that the Bolts would be prioritizing cornerback this offseason. Brandon Staley's defense has always been about building depth in the secondary with versatile pieces that can move around. Staley confirmed our suspicions on Wednesday when speaking to media at the NFL Combine.
Staley also echoed something that I have written here on Bolt Beat a few times this offseason. The Chargers do not have a true CB1 on the roster. While they have two quality starting cornerbacks in Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr, neither are a true CB1. Staley did not outright say that Davis is not CB1 material, but in reading between the lines, that is essentially what Staley said.
The second-year head coach also suggested that the Chargers could use Samuel in the slot more, which is a promising development. The slot corner market is really bad this offseason and Staley showing faith in Samuel to play in the slot if good for the Chargers' prospects in building out a deep secondary.
Brandon Staley also echoed Tom Telesco's comments about the Chargers helping Justin Herbert
Tom Telesco spoke to the media on Tuesday and while most of what he said was nothing new, he did go as far as to say that the team would be continuing to help Justin Herbert on the offensive side of the football.
Staley reiterated this point (even bringing up Cordarelle Patterson unprompted at one point in the press conference) by saying the Chargers were planning on bringing on "a whole bunch of new personnel" to help Justin Herbert.
That is an interesting development for the Bolts, who had one of the best offenses in the league last season. There are multiple holes to fill and if the team does not re-sign Mike Williams, we could see four new impactful offensive players added to the team.
The Chargers already need to replace Jared Cook, Bryan Bulaga and Justin Jackson (assuming all three are not re-signed). If Williams walks then nearly a third of the offense would be brand new from last season.