The Battle of the Beasts!


Training camp starts this week, and we will finally have something meaningful to talk about! Not too long after that, preseason will kick in (Hooray!!!). The weeks leading up to that will, hopefully, give us a little more insight into who is winning the camp battles, and who will be looking for a different team to catch onto. It’s too bad we can’t keep some of these guys here to round out the team.. particularly some of the wide receivers. It seems like there is a lot of potential there, but it’s such a deep position for the team. No matter what, I wish these guys success, wherever they land.

One position that I am particularly excited to see unfold, is the battle for Nose Tackle! There has been so much talk about our defensive line being the strength of our defense. I can’t wait to have the starter locked in, and playing at a high level. It’s safe to say that the job is Cam Thomas’ to lose. However, we have some BIG boys behind him with Kwame Geathers, and Byron Jerideau. They are both UDFA’s, so we can “hope” that one of them is a diamond in the rough. I really think both of them have a great shot at making the squad, and potentially becoming a rising star on the team. If nothing else, they can both be serviceable, and add solid depth to the line.

Most people already have Kwame “Beast Man” Geathers penciled in as the back-up.  He is clearly the larger of the two. This past season, Geathers played in 14 games, made 40 tackles (five for loss), and one sack. Just looking at this 342 lb., 6’5 monster makes you quake in your boots! There is no doubt that he can draw double teams, and plug the middle with his huge frame… maybe even get his hands on some passes. Aside from terrorizing the middle of the line, Geathers comes from a long line of football players. His two brothers play for Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. His Dad used to play for the Bills in the 80’s. His uncle also played in the NFL for thirteen years, so Kwame has been around football his entire life! He could be the future for the Chargers at the nose tackle position, if he can outplay Cam Thomas.

Now, let’s get to Byron Jerideau. He is a hulk of a man, and could also make the squad. After all, we did carry three nose tackles last year. Jerideau is smaller at 6’1 / 316 lbs, but boasts a 500 lb. bench press, and a 670 lb. squat. That’s a lot of meat & potatoes right there! He is a fifth-year senior, who started all 13 games last year. He made 40 tackles, including 25 solos, and had 5.5 tackles for loss. He recorded 2.5 sacks, and even blocked an extra point that was returned for a 2 point conversion. When recently interviewed by “The Press & Standard”, Jerideau had this to say about training camp, and the open nose tackle spot:

“They’ve only got one nose tackle. They brought in me and Kwame as rookie free agents, so it’s between us for that No. 2 spot.”

He later added: “That’s when we get at it [training camp]. Everything so far has been in helmets and shorts. It’s practice, but I don’t really consider it practice. When we get back, and get those shoulder pads on, that’s when it’s going to go down.”

It’s good to see that he is hungry, and is ready to compete with Geathers for the honor of making the Charger’s roster. I couldn’t be more excited to see these two go at it! Is it possible one of them unseats Thomas? Probably not, but they are definitely going to push him, and learn a thing or two along the way. This is one camp competition I will have a close eye on, without a doubt. Let’s get that defensive line firing on all cylinders! We want them to strike fear into the heart of opposing offenses, and these two behemoths might be “just what the doctor ordered”.

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

Peter Thompson

Who Will Make The Chargers Roster At Nose Tackle This Year?

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Tags: Byron Jerideau Cam Thomas Kwame Geathers San Diego Chargers

  • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

    I’m pretty sure that one of them could even be coached on the o-line. Just a thought.

    • Peter Thompson

      Stranger things have happened. Jerideau’s strength could be a plus in that theory. This camp battle is the one I am most curious about. Out of all of the undrafted free agents, I feel like one of these guys could end up being a steal, and a longtime Charger. I like everything I am seeing on paper, so far. It will be interesting to get some updates, once they get the pads on this Thursday! The only negative I can find, is that Jerideau was arrested, and suspended. He came out of a bar drunk, walked into the street, made traffic stop for him, and almost caused an accident. He was arrested for disorderly conduct, and jaywalking, so no biggie.

      • Adam

        He would’ve made a big dent in someone’s car!

      • ECAVILLE/Ace of Spades

        Jerideau will be ok if he makes the team. I don’t like the ill advised decisions either, that was the reason I didn’t like Vincent Jackson sometimes even though VJ was productive for us. I believe Doctor McCoy will keep these guys on the straight and narrow + productive.

  • Ambitoos

    Great article. Geathers must be the biggest man in the NFL.

  • Adam

    He benched 500?!?!!? I thought I was the man for benching 210….once. Reality check…I am weak.

    • Peter Thompson

      Naw… Lol … He is just the strongest man ever to come out of the Gamecocks program.

      • Adam

        The Gamecocks? Nice Melvin Ingrams old stomping grounds. Maybe Melvin will take him under his wing.

        • Peter Thompson

          You know this!

  • OP Bolt

    Assuming they both can play, I think the Chargers have to keep both of them. The NT is the critical path player in the 3-4. You have to have at least one backup for injury. Additionally, in the new NFL, with no-huddle, hurry-up and faster paced offenses (e.g., 2 games w/ Denver, 2 games w/ KC, 1 game w/ Washington, 1 game w/ Philadelphia, … etc.), you will likely have to rotate these guys, by series if they can’t get off the field in the middle of a series. NTs are not noted for aerobic endurance. The NT position has to have endurance through the entire game – which makes me believe that they will both make the team.

    If you are like thinking outside the box – make believe it is late in the game and the Chargers are defending the goal line against a big back offense. Suddenly you shift to the JUMBO defense – a 4-3 variant with one of these guys down as the second DT – just speculating.

    • Peter Thompson

      Great comments, OP Bolt! I was thinking exactly that. Switch them in & out, according to what is going on. Especially late in the game. Jumbo package is a great way to phrase it, btw!

  • arnie

    I agree with everyone else. The Chargers will find a away to keep them both on the team. is it starting to become clearer why they aren’t worried about LB?

    • Peter Thompson

      Lotsa friggin beef in the middle, for sure! This is why this position is so exciting for me. True story, I had a dream about writing this article over the weekend. I am THAT amped about seeing what we have with these two.

      • arnie

        come thursday i’m all over it.