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Kenneth Murray receiving positive reviews from Gus Bradley

The first-round defender is getting up to speed rather quickly.

Los Angeles Chargers football team practice at the Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa on Monday August 17, 2020.

Prior to Tuesday’s practice, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley met with media for the first time since the NFL Combine. Reporters were itching to pick the brain of the energetic Bradley, who greeted us all with a reverberating “WE READY TO GO?!”

Like the other recap pieces regarding the team’s Zoom calls, here are my notes from what Bradley had to say prior to the team’s second day of padded practice.

Notes:

  • It didn’t take long for the team’s first-round defender to get brought up this morning. Bradley was asked about Kenneth Murray’s general progression so far and through the early stages of training camp and, for the most part, seemed pleasantly surprised at how well the former Sooner has acclimated to the team’s defense. In college, Murray played solely in the middle of the defense and the majority of his responsibility was spying the quarterback and taking the running back in coverage out of the backfield. In terms of dropping into coverage, he didn’t often backpedal and drive on routes down the field. However, Bradley said he’s actually picking those things up at a faster rate than they expected. All of this is good news for the rookie that had some questions surrounding his play after the team traded up to draft him.
  • Staying on topic with Murray, Bradley noted that they are keeping Murray at one specific linebacker spot — we can safely assume it’s at MIKE — in order for him to get acclimated as quick as possible before having him learn another LB spot. On the other side, guys like Drue Tranquill and Denzel Perryman are moving around consistently. If Perryman is able to show some worth at another LB spot, then that’s a plus for the Chargers.
  • We got some more positive praise on 2019 second-rounder Nasir Adderley. Naz got a second confirmation of his health being back to 100 percent and another stamp of approval of him playing fast and explosive early in training camp. However, for Adderley to take that next step with the coaching staff’s trust, they need to see him continue to excel in more “live game” scenarios where the ball is getting moved up and down the field. This will help gauge his Football IQ and instincts better when he’s able to react to a variety of stimuli on the field.
  • During his first two seasons with the Chargers, Uchenna Nwosu has floated between being a LEO and a SAM linebacker for the defense. Last season, he was used much more heavily at the LEO but he still wasn’t 100% locked in to that position. This year, Bradley said he is now officially all in at the LEO which will only help his development accelerate now that he can drop any other responsibilities outside of being a pass-rusher. Should we hold any weight with these statements whatsoever while the Melvin Ingram situation is still present? It might be too early, but I think it’d be wrong if we didn’t to some degree.
  • As the days go on, we’re hoping to learn more and more about how the loaded secondary is going to look come game day. Bradley made a point to mention they aren’t there yet, but they’re working on finding their identity. In terms of who is starting, you can expect guys like Casey Hayward, Chris Harris Jr., and Derwin James. When asked about Michael Davis and whether or not he’s entrenched on the outside, Bradley said everyone is going to play but he just needs to figure out which guys will trot out their first.
  • The common theme behind Linval Joseph is that he’s an enormous human being. On more than one occasion, other defenders on the team have also mentioned Joseph’s presence is incredibly hard to ignore - literally and figuratively. Bradley also praised his leadership skills and the way he holds himself in the locker room.