2. The Chargers must continue using Derwin James near the line of scrimmage
One of the most frustrating developments over the course of the 2023 season has been the play of Derwin James. At his best, James is undoubtedly one of the best safeties in the sport and he has gotten paid as such by the Chargers.
However, James as seemingly regressed every season under head coach Brandon Staley. It has gotten to the point where James has made more negative plays this season than good plays. His struggles in coverage have really been exploited this season while he has failed to make the big Derwin James-type players that swing the game.
It took longer than it should have but this prompted the Chargers to make some changes. James started playing more of the STAR and was also playing near the line of scrimmage more. In Week 13 against the Pats, James picked up his first sack of the entire season as a designed blitzer.
The Chargers need more of this from James. It is the job of Staley and the defensive coaching staff to put James in a position to succeed and this is it. Let him make plays near the football with his athleticism and stop hindering him with a defense that does not match his style.
When the time comes the Chargers can use James in man coverage and stick him on one guy, like Travis Kelce. But the last thing the team needs to do is keep throwing him into the two-high shell defense that Staley has for his safeties. It has not been working, simple as that.