Chargers’ 2 Safeties Give Them Options

By FirstDown PlayBook on Sep 27, 2021

If you are a football coach and started watching the Los Angeles Chargers’ two safeties yesterday against the Chiefs, you would be close to the action on almost every play. We have read a lot about the Chargers 2 safety shell look. Brandon Staley likes to show this shell and then react to what the offense does.

We have not really studied it, but after yesterday that deserves to be on our “to do” list. What we saw vs the Chiefs yesterday was a little different than what we expected. This Chargers defense lines up with 2 safeties almost every snap. It looks very simple pre-snap.

It’s what they do after the snap that is interesting. Of course, the general premise is to show a light box and invite the run. After the ball is snapped, they bring one or both of the safeties down to get them involved on the run That certainly happens but there is much more to it than that.

As you will see in the play diagram below, the weak side side safety drops down on the snap. However, if you ask us, there are at least three or four different things he and the Chargers could be doing. Yes , it is quite possible that he is dropping down to be the extra underneath defender. If so then they are locking their weak side corner up one on one.

You can’t do that every snap in the NFL or the offense is going line Tyreek Hill up over there to the single side. At some point you are going to get beat, regardless of who the corner is. What we saw was that the Chargers could be playing several coverages based on the call, personnel and formation.

This Is Not Your Old Fashioned 2 Safeties Look

When the ball is snapped it could be 2 invert, 6 invert, or true halves coverage or quarters coverage. Once again, at the snap the quarterback does not know. This Chargers’ 2 safeties defense forces the quarterbacks to read after the ball is snapped. It also allows the safeties to be coming down hill to the ball carrier when the ball is handed off.

This short blog is by no means meant to qualify as a study of what Staley and the Chargers are doing but it would be a good one to do in the near future! Click on the drawing to watch video of two plays from yesterday’s game.