Perhaps the biggest thing that held the LA Chargers back last season was the defensive side of the football. The Bolts were one of the worst defensive teams in the league and were particularly bad against the run and on third down.
That is why the front office poured a lot of resources into the defensive side of the ball this spring, headlined by Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson. With Chargers training camp starting on Wednesday, fans have gotten their first look at this defense and it is exciting.
Khalil Mack made an instant impression on the first day of camp with his inspiring press conference response. Meanwhile, the defense as a whole has been making a big impression on the Chargers' offense. The defense reportedly dominated practice on Thursday and Pro Bowl Keenan Allen confirmed that in his press conference after practice.
This has to get Chargers fans excited. Yes, offense is more fun to watch (for many) and seeing it struggle in practice could be concerning. Not in this case. We know that the Chargers are one of the best offensive teams in the league an if this defense is hanging in there that could signal huge things on that side of the ball.
If the Chargers defense can figure it out then the Bolts could be the best team in the league.
Of course, this is a big if and this is not the first time that the Chargers have looked really good on paper. Paper does not play football games. However, if the defense is already succeeding against this offense then that is an extremely positive sign.
Most of the players on offense are entering their second season in this scheme. Sure, there will be tweaks, but there is not the same learning curve that the team had last offseason as it was installing this offensive scheme.
This is a defense that is essentially replacing half of the starters from last season. If they are already picking it up and thriving then we can be confident that the defense will play well during the season. Heck, they are even doing this well this early on without Derwin James on the field!
It is a lock with Justin Herbert that the Chargers will have a top-five offense in the league. If the Bolts can also have a top-10 defense in the league then that would put them in a very exclusive crop of teams as the true Super Bowl contenders in the league.
And if the defense can be one of the five best in the league... watch out. A top-five defense with this offense is a Super Bowl waiting to happen... we hope.