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.
#Chargers DC Gus Bradley on Kenneth Murray: "He's been a surprise on how well he's been able to pick everything up."— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) August 18, 2020
Mentions how he spied the QB a ton in college and hasn't shown to be behind in zone coverages responsibilities.
- 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.
#Chargers DC Gus Bradley says they're trying to lock Kenneth Murray in at a single linebacker position to get a better understanding of what he can do the best and give him some consistency early on.— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) August 18, 2020
Mentions they're moving Perryman and Tranquill around to keep Murray put.
- 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.
#Chargers DC Gus Bradley just said Nasir Adderley is healthy and he's a playing fast. "He's done what we've asked and then some."— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) August 18, 2020
- 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.
#Chargers DC Gus Bradley said Uchenna Nwosu is "locked in" at the LEO position. Says he's a solid 250 right now and they expect him to take the next step now that he's focused on LEO only.— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) August 18, 2020
- 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.
#Chargers DC Gus Bradley says that they're still figuring out who they are in the secondary with all of their players back there. He says they're all going to play, but it'll come down to who just gets on the field first.— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) August 18, 2020
- 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.
#Chargers DC Gus Bradley on Linval Joseph: "He's so big up front. The linebackers can feel that."— Michael Peterson (@ZoneTracks) August 18, 2020
He says Joseph is a real pro and his leadership skills have been huge so far.
- 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.