He finished with 109 total tackles, 3 1/2 sacks and three interceptions. No rookie in franchise history ever had been credited with as many as 100 tackles.
James played 1,027 snaps, the most of any Charger on either side of the line of scrimmage. His blossoming versatility allowed the team to line him up in a variety of positions.
"God gifted him with a lot of talent," tight end Hunter Henry said. "He also works extremely hard. He loves the game of football. When you have those ... things going for you, you're going to be a really good player."
Last year, the Chargers were without Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa because of a foot injury until the 10th game of the regular season.
He was replaced largely by Isaac Rochell. But James, with his playmaking ability, was a primary reason they were able to absorb Bosa's loss.
"Just how Isaac stepped up and filled the spot last year, we'll have another guy step up and fill the void," Bosa said. "To see it's a ... foot injury, the same as mine, it's a bummer."
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