Probowl nosetackle Jamal Williams finally has help on his left. And Luis Castillo is ready to star on Jamal's right. JamCan Vaughn Martin is a good example of new talent on Defense. With Ryon Bingham on IR, Martin is being thrust forward -- and handling it.
Every team wishes it had an elite pass rusher. The Chargers have three: Merriman, Phillips and English. Who do opponents key on? Too often, the wrong one. Inside LB Kevin Burnett is a fantastic addition, and makes his predecessor, Matt Wilhelm, look feeble by comparison. Stephen Cooper captains the LB Corps, and is smart and agressive.
Something else new this year: a philosophy to penetrate the line of scrimmage, instead of waiting and reacting. It will be telling to compare tackles behind line of scrimmage from last season to this.
Chargers can rank top five in pass defense, especially if Merriman can return to form, and overcome legal and league fallout from recent events. S&M is a game-changer and a team changer. At least, he is when he is not busy pimping his sportswear line, his energy drink, his talkshow -- and appearing on COPS with a bisexual porn star, at his home, at 3 am.
Who is Merriman's mentor? PeeWee Herman or Mike Tyson?
Prediction: the Chargers return to being dominant run-stuffers. That will push their opponent into a passing game -- and disaster awaits them.