Kyler Fackrell has been a steady contributor as an edge rusher in both of his previous two stops before signing with the Bolts. The former third-round pick out of Utah State by the Packers spent four seasons in Green Bay before playing this past season with the Giants.
As a free agent, Fackrell knew he was going to land somewhere that needed him, but it just so happened that he ended up in Los Angeles with a couple of familiar faces in Corey Linsley, Jared Cook, and Bryan Bulaga. After spending his entire professional career in the midwest and upper east coast, a stint in sunny California probably sounded pretty good and made for a fairly easy decision.
“It had a lot to do with coach Staley,” Fackrell told the Chargers’ Hayley Elwood when asked about his decision to sign with the Chargers. “I know Corey (Linsley) and I’m very excited to be back on a team with Corey and Bryan Bulaga. I was there (in Green Bay) with Jared Cook, too. Those are all great guys. But really, it was the conversation that I had with coach Staley and learning his passion for football and for defense and it was kind of the energy that he brings.”
Staley’s impact on this team with his infectious personality cannot be missed. It also helps that it’s readily evident that he’s a defensive mastermind only getting started in this league and figures to be a prominent figure in the NFL for years to come.
When asked about his impressions of his new coach, Fackrell first pointed to his “player’s coach”-nature that makes it so easy for him and his teammates to listen and understand exactly what he wants out of his team.
“He seems really like a players’ coach. Exactly what the players would want. I think he’s very receptive to what the players want and is fluid in that way trying to make things right for us. We’ve kind of gone through the installs through this offseason and I think it’s pretty clear that he’s kind of a brilliant mind defensively. So, I think it’s a great combination.”
After allowing guys like Melvin Ingram and Isaac Rochell to walk in free agency, the Chargers needed help along the edges. With Fackrell having familiarity within a 3-4 defense from his time with the Packers and Giants, he was a natural fit for Staley’s scheme. At the moment, Uchenna Nwosu seems to be the team’s 2021 starter across from Joey Bosa, but don’t be surprised to see plenty of Fackrell, as well.
When asked about the defense and how his skillset fits into it, Fackrell noted the chances for getting into “favorable matchups” as a reason it’ll be a fun season for the EDGE players.
“I think getting the way coach Staley coaches this defense and the way they set up things is for us as EDGE players and for everyone to play fast and to get into one-on-one situations and favorable matchups, that’s kind of what it’s all about. It’s gonna be great for me, for us as EDGE players, and for us on defense.”
At the end of the day, one of the things that means the most to Fackrell in regards to being with the Chargers is that his family is as close to him as they’ve ever been during his NFL career now that’s he’s on the west coast. Fackrell was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona.
“It’s really a perfect situation for me, for my family. Being able to live here close to home, close to family, close to friends and all that. The organization has been amazing. I loved meeting with Tom Telesco and ownership. It’s been great and I can tell already that it’s a great group of guys, guys who want to work and break into that next level and make the playoffs and hopefully make a Super Bowl run.”