Dec 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) reacts after the Cincinnati Bengals scored during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Why Every Position Group will be Better in 2013 (Starting with Defensive Backs)


Excited to be able to share my first ever article with you all! So here goes:

Do I think the play of this group will be better this year? Well, when it comes to (snubbed) Pro-Bowler Eric Weddle, I think we all know the answer to that. When it comes to the rest, I don’t think it’ll be hard to beat this unit’s decidedly average 2012 performance.

Who they were:

You know what…that’s not entirely fair. The corners had their moments in 2012, and I actually questioned TT’s decision to let Cason walk, but it did seem like Cason regressed from previous seasons and I, for one, want guys who strive to constantly improve. As for Jammer, it was time to let him go; as much as I loved him as a Charger, it was time. I wish him luck on the dark side next year (but not too much luck).

When we examine the safety tandem, the free safety position is a lock, but I think that I speak for Charger fans everywhere when I say that strong safety has been a major headache for a long, long time. Hopefully this will be the year when either Brandon Taylor or Marcus Gilchrist stops that proverbial revolving door (rooting for Taylor but we’ll get to that).

Why they will be better:

CB1: I’m very excited about the Derek Cox signing. He was one of the most talented FA corners on the market; he’s still relatively young; in the three years that he’s played 12 or more games he’s had four INTs (more than any Charger last year) and—IF he can stay healthy—he will be solid on the outside. I consider him an upgrade from the Jammer of 2012.

CB2: Shareece Wright has shown flashes of brilliance and has improved every year. This will be his first year as the starter and I have faith that he can perform as well, if not better, than Cason did last season. Even if he’s just as good as Cason, it means good things for the future.

FS: Eric Weddle = Eric Weddle. He gets better every year. I won’t be surprised if that trend continues. If he doesn’t go to the Pro Bowl in 2014 it will be for the same reason as every year—the media and fans still love Ed Reed, even though he’s past his prime.

SS (and NICKEL): Best-case scenario for Strong Safety: Taylor wins the job meaning Gilchrist becomes a solid backup at corner and returns as starting nickel (pushing Williams into a backup role and creating much needed depth). Taylor was the guy drafted to fill this void and, barring any injuries this year, I feel like he will be the man for the job. If Taylor doesn’t work out then I think Gilchrist will step up. It’s nice to have a little competition at this position for a change and I think the entire DB group will be better because of it.

DEPTH: If the above scenario works out, then I feel a lot better about our depth. We have a lot of undrafted guys after Steve Williams and that’s a little scary, but are we any worse off than we were last year? I say no. Plus, with undrafted rookies like Okoro and Addae performing well this summer, there seems to be hope for the future.

Well, there you have it. I chose to tackle DBs first because I feel that they are the least improved unit so far this offseason. I intend to post articles on the other position groups, like the dramatically improved O-line and receivers, in the near future! This is obviously just an opinion but let me know what you think in the comments!

This article brought to you by The Committee to Elect Eric Weddle to the 2014 Pro Bowl

Go Bolts!

Dave O

Next Chargers Game View full schedule »
Monday, Sep 88 Sep7:20at Arizona CardinalsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Brandon Taylor Defense Derek Cox Eric Weddle Marcus Gilchrist San Diego Chargers Shareece Wright

  • Alter Ego

    OFF THE SUBJECT – Excuse me Dave (Nice Post)
    I have created a fantasy football league @ NFL.com – Bolt Beat (league name)
    There will be a live auction draft on 07-07-13 (Sunday) @ 5pm PT (its free)
    There are some very impressive fanatics that are regulars on this site and it would be fun to play fantasy football this season with you.
    There also are some of you that I have great disdain for and it would be fun to just kick your ass.
    This will be a 10 person league and there are nine slots open. “like” this post with a comment – I will get an email w/comment – I will give you the pass word to join.
    Below are some – not all – of the folks I’d like to see join (off top of my head) – the first nine to respond will be in…
    Peter Thompson
    Ernie
    Arnie
    Tubbs45
    FitzWilly
    Jose SD
    Gunnar Martin
    PakMan
    I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801
    Pels04
    Nick In PB
    BlackroseMD1
    Cgoodness13
    RussinSactown
    NativeSanDiegan
    Rob Base
    619chargers4life
    SDC619
    davacho
    loane
    veazy
    Adam
    C.Steele
    *** the first nine are in***

    • Cgoodness13

      I appreciate the offer but I’m good, thanks though ;)

    • veazy

      I’ve never tried fantasy football, but everyone always asks me if I’m into it and my brother had been trying to get me to try it the last 2-3 years. I’ll see what’s up.

      • Alter Ego

        Your in !

      • John Bauer

        I was in a fantasy league for 20 yeras it was great fun it got so popular my friend who ran it had to start another league one was held in his cellar other in his garage ( The garage league we called it) I ues to order a publication All Pro Publishing by a guy named Jack Pullman it helped me win several years & finish in the top 3 or in the money several years ! ! !

      • Alter Ego

        Go to NFL.com fantasy football
        Team name: Bolt Beat
        password: Fanatics
        Gad to have you

    • Gunnar Martin

      That sounds way fun. Count me in for now (I’m already in quite a few leagues already tho, so I MIGHT not be able to), I hope enough join too.

      #boltup

      • Alter Ego

        Your in !

      • Alter Ego

        Go to NFL.com fantasy football
        Team name : Bolt Beat
        password: Fanatics
        Glad to have you.

      • Alter Ego

        Hey Gunnar = are you in or out?

    • Clark Muncie

      Let’s do this thing!

      • Alter Ego

        Your in !

      • Alter Ego

        Go to NFL.com fantasy football

        Team name : Bolt Beat

        password: Fanatics

        Glad to have

      • Alter Ego

        Clark are you in or out?

    • Alter Ego

      Six spots left.

    • arnie

      hey thanks for the invite, but i have a lot on my plate. enjoy.

    • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

      PH, thanks 4 invite. Not my thing though…pass

    • Dion Chin
      • Alter Ego

        Your in !

      • Alter Ego

        Go to NFL.com fantasy football
        Team name : Bolt Beat
        password: Fanatics
        Glad to have you.

        • Dion Chin

          I’m in but just a question. Why is it an auction draft and not a snake draft?

          • Alter Ego

            The auction draft gives no one an unfair advantage. If you really want a certain player – he can be yours.

    • Alter Ego

      Five spots left…
      C’mon Peter…I know your mulling it over.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      why not espn?

      • Alter Ego

        I play in both…luck of the draw. Are you playing?

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          i usually use ESPN, rather join that league, otherwise you will get someone that is not going to pay too much attention. i dont want to be that guy

          • Alter Ego

            I think you will focus…ESPN ranks are a little different – but your knowledge is the same. I added pts for returns/defense player…the auction allows you to target your picks. Lets sign you up.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          all my other leagues are on there

    • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

      So, when I search for Bolt Beat on NFL.com, it’s throwing me a league ID error. Mind throwing me a link directly to the league?

      • Alter Ego

        Thanks MD – fixed it. No wonder.

        NFL.com
        Join Fantasy league
        Custom
        Type in Bolt Beat in search box (top Left)
        Your In -

  • I_Bleed_Powder_Blue_801

    Good stuff Dave….once training camp begins, maybe we’ll get a better idea how good or not so good some of these UDFAs are….would really love to see Addae make the team….bet hey, only time will tell

  • Cgoodness13

    Wright doesn’t have to be as good as Cason, he just has to be smarter :/ it was terrible watching Cason going for a interception almost every play instead of covering his man or zone

  • Gunnar Martin

    Great job Dave!! I think the pass defense especially will be much improved this year (excuse my bias opinion) because we have MUCH more talent in the starting lineup. I also have to believe that the pass rush will be better too, mainly because Luiget and Reyes are one year older in the league.

    Go bolts!

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    Great article Dave O! Keep up the good work. Work ethic is key this season along with good conditioning. Who ever has those essentials will be in the starting line up. Depth is there. Championship is coming!

  • blu3ny3llow

    Stuff like this really frustrates me…why??….because I can’t wait for some Chargers football……BOLTZ UP!!!!……good job though got me pumped!!!

  • miketuck

    Well you picked a easy one to start. But LB’s without Phillips and Barnes isn’t better with Johnson and Freeney. Phillips was the best OLB in so long to wear a Chargers Uniform. Johnson is sad, and Sadder is hanging onto English and Mouton. Bront Bird and some rookies will fill the Ingram/Phillips hole before Johnson gets the job. He played so vanilla last year with a coach that had Phillips dropping into zone pass coverage while Johnson so-called blitzed which was pathetic. Either Johnsons angel to the QB would allow RB’s to get to the outside or he’d be cut down 6 yrds before he got close to the QB. He looked lost.

    • Gunnar Martin

      Umm… no.

      • miketuck

        UM yes!! Johnson is a bench player compared with Phillips. But as far as the pass defense with the personnel we have, I like everyone of them. But without Pagano getting his Wade Phillips on and loosing his Turners Defense it won’t matter. We didn’t blitze Phillips or Barnes a whole lot last year and it cost us. If you are going to run a 3-4 you better be rushing 4 all the time but from different angles. The fastest way to sack a QB is right up the middle. But 4-5 rushers as the on field captain calls the plays, since they’re counting on him to read the play. Seau was a great captain, Butler needs to become one. Our secoundary depends on the QB being given a max of 4 sec.’s. Ingram was a huge loss, especially when Phillips was let go. If Johnson is our answer at OLB were in trouble. And the depth chart showing Mouton instead of Bront Bird is a insult since Bird came in and we won most the games he played. He’s a great player in the Edwards type. He’s taller 6’4″ and bigger yet fast. He even got a int in the 4 games he started. Mouton? Anyway, to your UMM no. Weeeellllllllllllll seeee! All you San Diego Charger fans out there know what being to happy means.
        And by the way, no I attended no games last year as I’m stuck in Washington, but I’ve carried the ticket every year for the past 7 years and watch the games a few times a week. If you do it you’d know what I mean when I say Johnson can’t get it done.

        • Gunnar Martin

          Oh please don’t say it like you think I don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t think Johnson is fit for pass rushing much, but he is as solid a run-stopper as you will see and is a great leader both on the field and off it. And I’m not really sure why you are fussing so much about Bird not showing up in front of Mouton on the depth chart, IT’S NOT EVEN THE PRE-SEASON YET!! It doesn’t matter where they show up on the depth chart right now.

          I’m not saying I think Johnson is a superior pass rusher. I’m saying he is a solid player who can get the job done at OLB. If it’s a passing down, we will probably sub in English or someone else who has more ability to get to the QB. But all in all, we will be fine and will hopefully just upgrade that next year.

          • miketuck

            I’m not saying you don’t know what your talking about, you didn’t say anything, just UM-Noo. I’m sure your just as much a dedicated fan as I am. It’s a difference of oppinion that I hope I’m wrong at. Johnson last year let runner after runner get the corner on him when he blitzed. If they could move him to the inside I’d say great. But his lack of speed kills his ability to play OLB. It’s just a age thing and he probably was faster when he was with Baltimore but when Ingram went down it really hurt.
            Your right on the Bront Bird thing to. But I couldn’t understand why they would have listed anyone else since the first year he was called in a couple of times and played great. Then Smith cut him so he could hang onto his draftee Mouton. Bird came in the last of last year and played great, and that was in replace of Butler whom I love his play.
            I’m excited about this year and the last 3 I was really bitter about. Smith and Turner wasted a great bit of talent with Ego and bad coaching. It’s just after all the really good OLB’s we’ve had, we’re now hung out to dry unless a rookie or young hopefull will step in.

  • PakMaN

    I lost you at should have kept Cason. I just couldn’t get past that so I stopped there. Cason can go Cason himself. Useless prick. All these seasons Ive had to watch him give up yards and third down conversions. Glad he’s gone.

    • Alter Ego

      You are spot on and you crack me up.

  • 1961 Fan

    Fantasy Football is for people who are afraid of the dark. Like Cindi who thinks the Bolts will be 11-1 after twelve games.