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10 Insights: Kenneth Murray Leads Bolts Linebackers in His Second NFL Season


Below are 10 quick-hitting insights on the Chargers linebackers ahead of training camp:

1) Kenneth Murray started all 16 games in his first NFL season. His 107 total tackles set the Chargers all-time rookie record, surpassing safety Derwin James' 105 tackles in 2018. He'll wear the No. 9 starting in 2021 – his college number at Oklahoma.

2) Murray played the most snaps among any player on the Chargers defense last season (959). His best game of 2020 came in a losing effort – 14 total tackles and a sack against New England in Week 13.

3) A leg injury in Week 1 at Cincinnati derailed Drue Tranquill's second NFL season. In 2019, Tranquill had 75 total tackles in 15 games (three starts). He was named to PFWA’s all-rookie team as a special teamer.

4) Kyzir White set career highs in starts (10), total tackles (77), tackles for loss (four) and quarterback hits (three) in his third NFL season. White had a 15-tackle performance against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 on "Monday Night Football."

5) Cole Christiansen returns for his second season with the Chargers. Christiansen was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020 from Army. He appeared in four games last season, playing 61 snaps on special teams. When Christiansen is done playing football, he'll serve at least five years as a field artillery officer.

6) Emeke Egbule has appeared in 29 games over the last two seasons, playing 355 snaps on special teams. The former University of Houston linebacker was a sixth-round pick of the Chargers in 2019.

7) Iowa's Nick Niemann was one of L.A.'s sixth-round picks in 2021 (No. 185 overall). His brother, Ben, currently plays linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, while his father, Jay, is the Hawkeyes assistant defensive line coach and defensive recruiting coordinator.

8) Amen Ogbongbemiga was signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2021. The Oklahoma State standout was a two-time All-Big 12 selection (second team). According to the school, Ogbongbemiga "amassed more than 200 tackles and 25 tackles for loss during his time as a Cowboys to go along with nine sacks, nine quarterback hurries, four fumbles forced and four fumbles recovered."

9) The Chargers signed Damon Lloyd on June 18. Lloyd played his college ball at Division II's Indiana University of Pennsylvania. According to the school’s athletics page, Lloyd totaled 384 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and 13 passes deflected. He was a second team Associated Press All-American his senior season in 2019.

10) Michael Wilhoite enters his first season as Chargers linebackers coach. He spent the previous two seasons with the Saints as a special teams and defensive assistant. Wilhoite played five seasons for the San Francisco 49ers and one for the Seattle Seahawks. He appeared in 79 career games, with 45 starts.

Snap counts and stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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