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What Does Gus Bradley Want to Improve on Defense?
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Tuesday marked the final open Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp practice.
Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley spoke with the media and shared his thoughts on where the most improvement needs to happen, the performance of Desmond King, how coaches evaluate the roster at this point in the offseason and more:
After giving up 41 points against the Seattle Seahawks, the Chargers defense shored things up by only relinquishing 13 points to the Saints. In addition, after giving up a 50-yard touchdown on the first Saints’ offensive play and then a field goal on the second drive, the Bolts buckled down. In fact, theyforced nine straight Saints’ punts last Sunday. With that being said, Bradley is hoping to see his unit become more consistent over these next two games to take that stability into the regular season:
“It’s probably a cliché, but (we need to improve on) just the consistency. We see it. We give up a big play but then we come back and have eight or nine (three and out) series. There was some good play in there. The start, we didn’t come out like we wanted to and we didn’t finish like we wanted to. Really, the consistency throughout our techniques (is where we need to improve).”
Surprised by King? Not so Fast.
Although he’s a rookie and it’s only the preseason, Desmond King has been making veteran-style plays. While some may be surprised by number 36’s performance, Bradley is not. He cites the defensive back’s play in college as a reason he’s carving a niche as a Bolts ballhawk:
“That’s what he did at Iowa. He was a playmaker who made a lot of plays. You look at him, and maybe (contemplate) the height (and) the size, but he just makes plays. It’s not surprising. Some of the things we see on the practice field, it’s good to see that show up on the game field. Just by putting himself in good positions give him a good opportunity. He likes to get after that ball and be around the ball.”
Bosa’s Next Step
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year is a pretty polished pass-rusher as he heads into his second professional season. But with all that Joey Bosa does well, he can still improve. Bradley said while Bosa’s natural talent and ability makes it easy to throw a bevy of things at him, he shared the one area he hopes to see number 99 improve on in year two:
“He’s a true professional. He kind of has his own way of going through things and his routine of getting ready for practice and games. I think that’s the next step for him; his mindset and how he wants to attack things. What’s unique about Joey is the different styles of pass-rush moves he has at this young of an age. Some guys it takes them time to develop but he has a real good assortment already…. (Defensive Line Coach) Giff Smith does a great job with him and sometimes when you see a guy who has that natural an ability, there’s more things you can ask him or put on his plate. He’s one of those guys we kind of load it up.”
One of the biggest changes in the 2017 NFL calendar is the removal of the 75-man roster cut down. Due to that, teams will trim their rosters to 53 players on Saturday, September 2. With that said, Bradley admitted the evaluation process never stops and won’t, as players are stepping up their games as September 2 draws closer:
“We’re still evaluating. Guys come on (during games). A guy like Dexter McCoil has done a good job these last five or six practices. He’s really stacked up some good practices then (went into) a game and did some good things. You never really know when that time is going to hit so as coaches, you always try to keep an open mind all the way through the last cut and try to give guys an opportunity.”