Oct 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) runs between San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) and defensive back Richard Marshall (31) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers Don't Have A Single Def Player Ranked Higher than 30 at Their Position

Was just on NFL.com, reading about the 5 things to watch coming into this game and they shared this little tidbit about the players on the defensive side of the footall:

Outside of Dwight Freeney (out for the year with a torn quadriceps) the Chargers don’t have a single defensive player ranked higher than 30th at their position, per Pro Football Focus. – NFL.com

Definitely an interesting stat. PFF is not gospel but they have some useful information. PFF ranked Bills rookie LB Kiko Alonso with a negative game after he racked up 22 tackles this weekend.

Are the players on the Chargers defense that bad or are they just playing poorly? I think that the Chargers have some talent on that side of the football and are just playing like crap.

Eric Weddle was once considered the best safety in the league, but he is nowhere to be found. Corey Liuget was one of the top breakout candidates and had a solid season last year, but has disappeared. Donald Butler is a solid middle linebacker. Manti Te’o should be a solid linebacker also. We have guys on the roster that can make plays, but are not performing up to their level.

If players are not playing up to their potential, who do we point the finger at to correct that problem? There still is plenty of time to turn things around, but will they make the changes needed.

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  • RZ

    Let’s hope they prove otherwise tonight.

  • Gunnar Martin

    Remember how we were (or at least I was) expecting them to be a top ten, maybe even top five defense this year? Sheesh…

  • davacho

    aside from the “quiet night” most chargers had on game against the raiders, weddle has been huge on 3rd downs… if this ranking system is based on standard stats then, yah… sad.

  • Stan Zab

    Been saying this since before preseason started………….remember the “too many holes to fill” problem? Well now its rearing its ugly head. TT has done a great job trying to fill the roster to this point but you can’t undo everything AJ did in one offseason.

    • Sergio Quintero

      The talent has not looked good, but the defensive play calling has been quite deficient, as it has been a lazy play it safe shell of “bend but don’t brake defense”. Its been basically a 3-5 man rush, with declared rushers, and mostly soft zone coverage behind it. While I will argue that the level of play has been poor, the play calling is not creating pressure or confusion for opponents.

      I am of the belief, if you are not making plays through talent, you have to try to outsmart your opponent by creating confusion through coverage, or O-Line assignment through multiple standing rushers or delayed blitzes.

      The production has been poor, but clearly what is being done on the field is not working, so a lot more aggression and creativity would be greatly appreciated, when speaking of the strategic design of this defense.

      • Stan Zab

        All good points. But it comes down to “if you dont have the horses you can’t win the race”. You can send the whole defense after the QB but clearly Pagano has no faith in the secondary’s ability to cover anyone in man. So he’s not sending full out blitzes very often. I’ve seen them try it and not get home time after time.

        The more you gamble and lose the more points you give up and the more pressure you put on the offense that so far has had no running game. I think they need to balance out the offense, incorporate more of the run game, run some more clock to keep this atrocious defense off the field. You gamble a couple times on blitzes and get burned, now you’re playing catch-up all game long…

        Fact of the matter is, no matter what Pagano does, he’s going to lose because he doesn’t have the personnel to succeed. So he is mitigating the damage.

        • Sergio Quintero

          The chargers will not be an elite defense with their talent level, but as we saw in today’s game against the Colts, the pass rush, and 3rd down defense is so much better if you actually have ambition with the play design and dare to create confusion and mistakes from the O-line and the adjustment the QB makes.

          • Stan Zab

            Man its like they read this thread and followed my advice. Kept the D on the sidelines by running the ball. Impressive work by the O-line. Great win.

  • Lee

    with all that talent paired with underperformance, usually the blame lies on the coaching…

    • Stan Zab

      “All that talent”. Please point out “all that talent” you’re referring to on the defensive side….Gilchrist? Cam Newton? Jarred Johnson? Larry English? Marshal? Butler? Cox? Wright? All that talent?

      • Lee

        well for one we dont have cam newton on our team -__- but our front 7 DID have the potential to be very good but injuries killed us. but i am referring to weddle, jj, liuget, reyes, butler, teo, and a few others.

        • Stan Zab

          My fault, Cam Thomas. The only 2 guys on defense that could start on most other teams are Weddle and Butler. Other than that every single guy on defense would be a backup on a good defensive squad. Liuget has shown flashes, so has Reyes but they haven’t proven to be anything special yet. Te’o has played a game and a half and is a rookie.

          The point is, there’s no way this defense can be said to have “all that talent”. Its not anyone’s fault but AJ’s but “it is what it is”. I’m getting tired of people saying Pagano should lose his job, he has nothing to work with.

          • Lee

            i just think we have potential, thats all im saying. our secondary sucks but we have a lot of youngsters that show promise. i guess i misused the word ‘talent’ but i feel like we should be better than we are defensively especially since we showed ‘promise’ last year

          • Stan Zab

            Last year we had SP who got us 9.5 sacks. He already has 5.5 this year. Also, none of this secondary was wearing a Chargers uniform last year besides Weddle. Also, we had Franklin as a NT and are missing him very much. Ingram is out, that hurts. Absolutely no pass rushers…you have to create pressure to force turnovers, thats not happening because there’s no one on the team capable. This defense is completely different from last year’s.

      • Lee

        i will admit tho besides weddle we have one of the worst secondaries

  • tubbs45

    Just get the win. find a way, dig deep, (insert football phrase here). With the pieces we have, we have been in the games and can make sure good football happen. There are no super stars that happen over night …WORK HARD….

  • Tazzster

    There is talent – just not enough of it. And no matter how good you are if the guys beside you are not a threat it diminishes your ability to make plays.

    If you are a great D lineman but everyone else is mediocre you will get double teamed every down.

    If you are a great Linebacker but the line can’t hold its assignments, you will not be able to make plays.

    If you are a great safety but you need to play in the box because the rest of the D is suffering, then you dont make INTs.

    I think as this unit gets some guys back and adds a few key pieces next year they will make a big jump.

    • Stan Zab

      Emphasis on “a few key pieces”.

  • Will

    I’m tired of hearing about Manti. Don’t say he’s gonna be anything until he actually done something, and up to this point he hasn’t done ANYTHING. He probably won’t even play half the game today.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i’ll talk to you after the game…. and still waiting to hear you talk about keenan allen… you hate on your own chargers more than anyone.. you are a “REAL” chargers fan?

  • Will

    And so help clarify me, are they saying that basically Donald butler isn’t a top 30 middle linebacker and Eric weddle isn’t a top 30 (free) safety???????

  • tubbs45

    Eat that NFL power rankings!!! Mathis is on your dumb ass list and he didn’t do shit last night!!!