Who do you guys think should be the starters at safety (and which roles should they play) for the Chargers in 2018?
Matthew Stanley: Jahleel Addae at SS, he started to find his groove last year. I think there might be a problem at FS unless Rayshawn Jenkins becomes a thing, or Adrian Phillips learns how to cover, or they turn Desmond King into a free safety with Jason Verrett back (which I don’t agree with). Derwin James should not be playing center field, he’s too valuable closer to the LOS.
Kyle Posey: Can you say Derwin at both?
Ryan Doyle: I think the Chargers stick Derwin James at FS. I don’t think that’s a perfect fit at the moment, but the only other option I could see there is Desmond King. I trust James a lot more at the backend than Jenkins or Phillips. At SS, Jahleel Addae will keep his starting role and continue to improve. He’s come a long way for a UDFA and he has the right supporting cast to have his best season to date.
Louis Gorini: Frankly I don’t even know if the Chargers know how they are going to implement Derwin James in their defense. This is the same team that had trouble figuring out how to use Hunter Henry, a future top ten TE. But if I had to guess, I feel like LA will use James like Weddle, as a Swiss Army knife. They will start him at FS in early downs and then on third down, they will move him closer to the LOS to lock down opposing tight ends, or to utilize his blitzing capabilities.
Jamie Sewell: I agree with Louis in that I don’t think the Chargers really know how they’re going to use Derwin James and Addae together. Addae had the best year of his career last year and it’s no coincidence that it came with playing closer to the line of scrimmage. For that reason, I think Addae will stay as the SS and Derwin James as the ‘FS’, but I think they’ll try and move him around all over the place. I could see him playing some LB with Adrian Phillips or Rayshawn Jenkins filling in at FS.
Michael Peterson: I am also in the party that isn’t sure how the defensive backfield will play out. I would prefer both Addae and James near the line as that’s where they do the best work. That’s not plausible, however. If Verret I’d healthy and William’s gets moved to the slot, I’d like to get King on the field somehow and that may be at a safety position. So many impact players and not enough spots. It’ll be interesting, nonetheless.
Jamie Sewell: It’s a good problem to have, at least. Rather than asking them to try Darrell Stuckey at S because everyone else is worse.
Michael Peterson: Very true. In the span of two seasons, we went from having bad depth to not enough space.
Jamie Sewell: Last time the Chargers made the playoffs their CBs were Shareece Wright, Derek Cox, and Richard Marshall. Now we’re looking at Jason Verrett coming into camp as the #4
Kyle Posey: I’d play Derwin at free. With all the motion in today’s game, he’ll be around the action plenty. Then you factor in how he flies up against the run he’ll still rack up tackles. I’d leave Addae at the base strong safety. Then when they get to their sub package I’d get creative. Pending on King/Jenkins, I’d throw them at Free. I hope it’s King with his smarts. Then underneath you have a combo of Hayward, Verrett, Derwin, Williams. I’ll take that 4 in coverage any day of the week.
Garrett Sisti: I think in the Chargers base defense they’ll run Verrett/Hayward on the outside and Trevor Williams in the slot. Jahleel Addae at SS and Derwin James FS. When the Chargers run their Nickel & Dime Defenses I think you see the corners stay the same, Addae at SS, Dez King moved to FS and Derwin James playing the Nickel Linebacker (Adrian Phillips role last season)
Jamie Hoyle: This season we will see Addae at SS and James at FS in the base defense. When they have their sub packages on the field, we’ll probably see James rotate between SS and NLB in order to get Des King on the field as FS. Long term I think James probably winds up playing strong safety. It’s his best fit in my opinion because it maximizes his ability to matchup with tight ends, provide run support, blitz the QB and be an enforcer.
What do you guys think? Who should be the starters at safety for the Chargers this year?