The Chargers passing defense has been strong for some time, and by adding/cultivating a few pieces, has definitely seemed to improve, at least on paper (I still really like Gregory, and have high hopes for Dante Hughes, Cam Thomas, and Vaughn Martin). A lot will come down to how well this DL, under the schemes of new coordinator Manusky, can plug the run. He'll have hard hitting on the second level with Sanders and Spikes on the field (not to mention #23 and #32), and so a tone-setting, nasty-at-the-point-of-attack DL could keep the run defense on total lock-down mode. I don't know if the current DL is quite there yet, but I feel like it can be. Luis Castillo is a workhorse who makes less plays, but induces many double-teams. If he stays consistent, and Antonio Garay continues his beastly play, they should free up the other guys in the box to close gaps, and we would certainly see a lot of advantageous mismatches for Charger pass-rushers.
The secondary seems poised to take over games once teams can't run effectively, and eventually are forced to play from behind against athletic pass-rushers. If teams can run all over the Bolts like in some recent years, it handcuffs their high scoring offense - which ends up side-lined far too long, playing from too far behind, and playing right into defenses' hands, letting them zero in and tee off on El Capitan (especially on the road, remember St. Louis last year? yikes)
The key to the future will be adding a stud at the mike spot (Donald Butler??). Other than that I think they've assembled a lot of young talent on this roster. With other promising young big men, and Weddle and other DBs locked up for a while, I think the Chargers are laying the foundation for a mean defense for years to come.
What do you all think about this season? Too many questions at LB? Drop off in performance from from Cason? Worried about Sanders' health (if you've seen him hit it's no wonder why)? Or are there enough pieces in place?