I was thinking about writing this article when I read an outstanding piece by Field Gulls writer Mike Chan. http://www.fieldgulls.com/football-breakdowns/2013/5/13/4320540/defining-the-seahawks-defense-an-introduction
It got me thinking that we could be well set up for a 4-3 defense in the mould of the Seattle Seahawks. Now if you read my article and feel it is totally ridiculous and has flaws please point them out to me in the comments. The Chargers seem to have most of the pieces for a 4-3 defense in place already. The injury to Melvin Ingram is horrible but the visit of Dwight Freeney if signed will help to ease the pain. Especially if we were to move to a 4-3 were he excelled for years. I'm now going to go through the 4-3 positions and compare how Chargers would fit into these positions.
The 1 technique Nose guard: This position requires a thickly-built Nose Tackle type of player. He will be double teamed and in many ways is similar to the Nose Tackle position in the 3-4. Cam Thomas would be the starter at this position and would offer good pass rush from this position as well as decent run defense. With the addition of the undrafted Jerideau and Geathers I think we would have some depth at this position. Jerideau especially would be a nice fit at this position.
3 technique Tackle: This is a position where you want your best interior pass rusher. He needs to be a strong player who is agile enough to beat guards one-on-one. I feel like Corey Liuget would be an outstanding fit for this position. He is basically the prototype player for here. Liuget would offer very good pass rush from this position and he has good ability to stop the run. Personally I feel he would excel at this position even better than he does at the 3-4 DE spot.
5 technique Left Defensive end: Here you want a player who is good against the run and will be able to hold up when he is ran on. As most teams run to the right he will be under great pressure. We could play two options here in Kendall Reyes and Jarret Johnson. Reyes would probably need to lose a little weight. Although Reyes is perceived as slightly weak against the run he would not be under as much pressure here as at 3-4 DE. This person doesn't need to be a great pass rusher but Reyes would offer quite a lot of that from here. Johnson would need to gain at least 10 pounds but his strength is definitely against the run and I feel he could slot in here.
LEO Right defensive end: This is were Melvin Ingram would have played but unfortunately his torn ACL means he cant play. The addition of Dwight Freeney greatly helps here. He would be the teams best pass rusher and needs to focus on rushing the QB all day. Freeney has 107.5 career sacks. Despite a down year last year Freeney could provide immediate help. In 2012 he had to play the OLB spot which didn't suit him. His last full year at DE he had 10.5 sacks. Freeney would greatly help our pass rush and along with the rest of the D-Line we would have a good pass rush this year compared to what we will have with a 3-4.
Will Linebacker spot: At the Will spot we could play our recent draft addition Manti Te'o. Manti is protected from blocks in this scheme and has to concentrate on just making his tackles which he is very effective at. this position is the spot that Manti was expected to be played at when he was taken by a 4-3 team. He could excel at this position.
At the Mike spot Donald Butler could be a very good player. He understands the game and would have to play a similar role to what he played last year. This player needs to be good at run support and good at pass coverage. Butler is relatively effective in both these areas. Therefore I think Butler would be a good position. Joan's Mouton could provide depth here.
At the Sam spot we have three options. If Jarret Johnson isn't effective at the 5 technique Defensive End spot then he could be moved here. Or else we could sign Daryl Smith an ex-Jaguar or Nick Barnett an ex-Bill. This player needs to be able to fight through blocks and go man-to-man with TE's on short routes. Therefore I think Barnett would be a best fit at this position as he is good against the run and pass.
Overall I feel like the Chargers are in good position to move to a 4-3. The hurdle that I feel we face is John Pagano at Defensive Co-ordinator. I'm not sure he has ever coached the 4-3 scheme and this could be a severe issue.