Warning for the 2024 Los Angeles Chargers? Defensive Expert Labels Secondary Biggest Weakness

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Cody Alexander, the creator of the MatchQuarters Substack & the author of six books on football defense, released his 2024 season preview of the Los Angeles Chargers defense. To him, the biggest area of concern is the defensive backfield.

The Jim Harbaugh regime has spent his first offseason renovating the depth chart, with a particular emphasis on the opposite side of the ball. Eight free-agent moves were made to address offensive roster holes. The first two draft picks were offensive players.

The Chargers didn’t entirely ignore the secondary. They re-signed Alohi Gilman and picked up Kristian Fulton and drafted Cam Hart and Tarheeb Still. But Alexander isn’t convinced it was enough.

Expert Analysis of the Los Angeles Chargers Secondary

NFL: Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Chargers
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Here is what Alexander wrote about the defensive backfield;

The most work on the defense will need to be done in the secondary. Similar to Mack and Bosa upfront, Derwin James (S86) and Asante Samuel Jr (CB111) are talented yet have had vastly inconsistent play. Most pundits would agree that the play last year is not indicative of their talent. Minter needs to right the ship immediately in order for this defense to have any success.

James has been one of the best blitzing Safeties in the league for years. He’s a toolsy safety who has the ability to play near the box. Minter loves to move guys around, and James should see a resurgence in his play. Alongside him will be Alohi Gilman (S57) in combination with JT Woods, with the latter having limited playing time in the two years he’s been in LA. Gilman has been a nice surprise and is an above-average talent.

Like many on the Chargers, Samuel will need to have a resurgence in play to make the ‘24 campaign successful for the Chargers defense. Opposite him will be Kristian Fulton, who struggled last year with inconsistent play. Dean Leonard and rookie Cam Hart will fight for backup spots. At [nickel] Ja’Sir, Taylor (Ni27) will compete with rookie Tarheeb Still to start inside.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers
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