Skip to main content

Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

Bolts' Stars Impressing Gus Bradley

The Chargers have long been known for their explosive offense, and for good reason.

That's to be expected with stalwarts such as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates leading the way, not to mention the likes of Melvin Gordon, Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and so on.

However, you shouldn't be sleeping on the Bolts' defense as pundits have raved about the team's defensive stars leading into training camp.

They note how Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can be one of the best one-two combinations rushing the passer. Brandon Mebane is a highly-regarded veteran, while the hard-hitting Denzel Perryman is expected to emerge as the leader of a young LB corps.  Then there's Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett, two of the game's top cornerbacks leading a young and hungry secondary.

Clearly, the defense is starting to gain a reputation.

However, reputation can only take you so far.  In the end, all that matters is how you produce on the field.

Fortunately, Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has been pleased with the team's star players over the first few days of Chargers Camp. When asked who has stood out so far, he led off with the expected names.

Bradley is particularly pleased with Ingram, who missed the voluntary offseason program before returning for mini camp.  After playing outside linebacker his first five seasons, Ingram is transitioning to defensive end in the team's new 4-3 scheme.

The defensive coordinator couldn't be happier with how the edge rusher is adjusting.

"I really appreciate Melvin," Bradley said.  "It's a little bit (of a) new position for him (with) what we're asking him to do.  He's really welcomed it, and you're seeing him go through it.  I think so far the first couple days he's doing pretty good."

Still, don't expect to see number 54 only lined up at the LEO position.

"(We'll be) moving him around. We'll be pretty flexible with him, especially on third down. He'll be working with different guys.  You'll see him in a three-point.  You'll see him in a two-point.  Where last year, he was a lot in the two-point. So, he's going to go through some changes that way. He's going through that part of it now, and seeing what works best for him."

Then there are the aforementioned cornerbacks.

Hayward is fresh off a Pro Bowl season in which he also was named an All-Pro.  Meanwhile, Verrett, a Pro Bowler in 2015, is close to returning after missing the final 12 games last season with an ACL injury.  Head Coach Anthony Lynn said he wouldn't be surprised if Verrett was activated off PUP before the end of the week.

With two of the best corners in the game, Bradley was asked who he planned to have shadow the opposition's top wideout.

"Right now, (they'll be) playing left and right. But always from game to game you look.  You'd like to keep them left and right, but sometimes based on skillset, or a better matchup, you have the flexibility."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

From Our Partners