(Disclaimer: I’m not going to be overly analytical here because I do not intend in anyway to make a case against the team. I’m simply wanting to make people aware or what could “potentially” turn into a flaw.)
For the first time since as far back as I can remember, the Chargers had an offseason where they actually addressed all positions of need. For this I’m highly impressed and my hat is off to General manager Tom Telescoe and new coaching staff Brandon Staley. In fact, the people have become so hyped about the revamping of the offensive line that even the major media outlets are predicting that the Bolts make the play-offs. It’s not just the offensive line however, as the return of highly touted Derwin James and addition of Asante Samuel Jr make it feel as if the DB group has been revamped as well. This combined with the fact that once a little known quarterback from the north west now going into his second year makes it seem like anything is possible and the future is very bright.
Some have even rode the hype train all the way to the conclusion that the Bolts might actually be super Bowl contenders. For whatever reason this reminds me of a scene from the movie Friday night lights. In the scene a reporter ask star running back Boobie Miles if he is buying into the hype? To which he replies “hype isn’t even real, but this? This is real!” Well what is “this”? So it got me to take a much deeper look at the roster and potential depth chart.
Upon first glance you see a young stud on the rise fast approaching super stardom. You see several big names in the wide receiver and running back rooms. What was once a weakness along the offensive line may very well now be a strength after the offseason revamp. On the other side of the ball you have Joey Bosa who is one of the biggest defensive stars in all of football. You have the return or star safety Derwin James. You also have some young hopefuls that are full of potential in Murray, Tranquill, and Samuel Jr. Not to mention some key veteran name like Linval Joseph and Chris Harris Jr to help balance out the younger crowd. Seems like a team that is really onto something. However, upon further review you have to wonder are they really ready to make a serious push yet. While all of the after mentioned is great, there still remains one brutal flaw that may or may not come to haunt this team.
That flaw is depth! I mean wide receiver and running back are fine in the depth department. However, every other position depth leaves a lot to be desired. You don’t want to find yourself in a position similar to 2018 where everything is going great then all of a sudden a few injuries to the starters derails everything.
The team has done a great job of revamping the offensive line. Yet when you stop and think about it, who are the back ups? We know Bulaga can’t stay healthy. So who would come in for him? Trey Pipkins or Storm Norton? What about the other back ups? We know we have Quessenberry who is barely considered serviceable and the unproven rookie Brendan Jaimes from Nebraska. The rest is made up of UDFA’s. So it’s easy to see how just a couple of injuries along the line can severely hurt the integrity of the level of blocking.
On the defensive side of things the one position group that may be fine is edge rushing. Well, depending on Chris Rumph and Kyle Fackrell. Although the team didn’t address defensive tackle where both Linval and Justin Jones are on the last year of their contracts, while Tillery has still yet to prove that he belongs.
As far as the DB group goes we know we have one of the best, if not the best safeties in all of football with Derwin James. Once again however, how does the group look if Derwin were to go down again? Early reports out of camp are saying that rookie Mark Webb has been standing put in a sort of utility role. Alohi Gilman has yet to have a full offseason so the preseason games will be telling. Also they will be counting on former 2nd round pick Nasir Adderlly to take the next step forward as a consistent contributor.
As for the cornerback group, a lot is relying on a bounce back year from Chris Harris Jr and possibly Brandon Facyon as a starter opposite Michael Davis.
In order for fans to feel more comfortable with the depth on this team, a whole lot of “If’s” have to become a reality.