Brandon Staley: Joey Bosa will have a similar role to Khalil Mack in our defense

Chargers Patriots at SoFi Stadium
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Joey Bosa has been one of the league’s most effective defensive players since the Chargers drafted him in 2016.

New Chargers head coach Brandon Staley has no intention of changing that, saying he plans to have Bosa line up on the edge and be a playmaker. And Staley related Bosa’s role to that of a linebacker he used to coach in Chicago when he worked under coordinator Vic Fangio.

“I think the fact that he has a unique physical skillset allows you to have that versatility that we like to play with, because he can be on the edge of your defense as an outside pass rusher. And then he can also be a little bit closer to the ball as an interior defensive lineman because he has the length and strength to be able to anchor, too,” Staley said during his Thursday press conference. “So I think he’s a guy that you can see being in a playmaking position for us for sure. I think from a comp standpoint, he probably comps more like a Khalil Mack, Aldon Smith body type and playmaking role for us, if you’re into that. And I think that’s kind of his style of play.

“But I think the thing about Joey is, he’s a football playing Jesse, man. He’s going to play well wherever. But we’re certainly going to try to put him in his comfort zone, getting him doing what he does really well, and just can’t wait to get to work with Joey.”

Bosa appeared in 12 games in 2020, recording 7.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 27 quarterback hits. If he stays healthy in 2021, he could give Staley a shot at coaching back-to-back defensive player of the year award winners. Aaron Donald garnered his third such honor from the Rams’ top defense that Staley coordinated in 2020.