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Chargers DC Gus Bradley committed to fixing tackling woes

NEWARK, N.J. -- Sweats on the plane!

Led by Philip Rivers, players chanted those words over and over after the team’s victory over the Houston Texans last year.

The Chargers have not won a game since, nine straight losses, dating to last season.

So it’s appropriate that five days after Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said there would be changes this week, one of them appears to be going with comfort over style on road trips, as the Chargers wore sweats on the plane on their trip across the country to take on the New York Giants on Friday.

Will get into some of the other possible changes later as I take a couple questions in this week's Chargers mailbag:

@eric_d_williams: According to Pro Football Focus, the Chargers have missed 49 tackles so far this season, the most in the NFL.

The Chargers are giving up 163.5 rushing yards per contest, second-worst in the NFL, and have allowed five rushing plays of 40-plus yards.

Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was asked about what he plans to do to in order to improve tackling from his group and shore up the running game this week.

“After the first line and second line of defense, there’s one guy back there,” Bradley said. “A lot of teams play with split safeties back there, and they can control some of the explosive runs because they have two safeties to try and take care of that.

“So there’s advantages to both, but when you have that single safety in the middle as much as we do, that guy has to be good as an eraser tackler. And he’s done a good job for us. But we still, up front and at the linebacker spot, we can do a better job at the point of attack.”

The one guy back there is free safety Tre Boston, who also addressed what the Chargers’ defense has to do accomplish to curb explosive plays and tackle better.

“It’s too many yards, simple as that,” Boston said. “We have to get better at tackling everywhere.”

Along with making sure tackles in the open field, the Chargers must do a better job of maintaining their gaps in the run fits and consistently get more defenders to the football.

@eric_d_williams: Lynn made one of those changes already in waiving rookie kicker Younghoe Koo in favor of experienced veteran Nick Novak.

Running back Austin Ekeler also should see more time on offense with Branden Oliver out, although Lynn said that was going to happen anyway because of the way Ekeler was playing.

Lynn also promoted Andre Williams from the practice squad to the active roster, waiving Dexter McCoil to make room on the 53-man roster on Saturday, so perhaps we will see more of a commitment to the run game.

With Michael Schofield potentially starting for a second time this year in place of an injured Joe Barksdale at right tackle, it would make sense to run more because that is Schofield’s strength.

But I think overall, Lynn will continue to try and put players in positions where they can lean on their strengths and finally finish the game.