4. The usage of Kyle Van Noy
Staley and Van Noy were both intentionally ambiguous when they first talked about what his position and role on this team would be when he was first signed. Back in June during minicamp, Van Noy largely lined up at EDGE in pass rushing roles-EDGE 3 seemed to be the calling card.
But everything changed when Kenneth Murray was placed on the PUP list at the start of training camp. Van Noy has almost exclusively has lined up as the starting MIKE linebacker. On this roster as currently constructed, he's LB1. He's even dropped into coverage a lot more in practice than I personally expected.
Murray's recovery timetable has him out until probably a week or two before the Raiders game as things currently stand. Is he eased back into things? Does he just take the MIKE linebacker spot back from Van Noy when he returns? How Van Noy's usage has changed and probably will change throughout the season is a rather tough storyline to evaluate.
Perhaps Staley simply just views Van Noy as another Swiss Army knife-type player on this defense. He can do a lot of things really well and could plug the holes on the roster as they open during the season. But how radical the shift has been from EDGE 3 in minicamp to LB 1 in training camp is very notable, even if it is partially due to the Murray injury. Van Noy's usage might also be different depending on the opponent the Chargers are playing in a given week.