Nov 17, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te

Chargers LB Manti Te'o Starting to Get Called the B-Word

A few fans have had a lot of expectations for Chargers LB Manti Te’o, but he is looking to be more of a BUST. That is the B-word that is getting floated around more and more these days.

This Sunday, he was all over the place in a bad way. He was missing tackles left and right and the Chargers defense was suffering because of his poor play. There were other reasons why the defense sucked, but Te’o was contributed to the mess.

He was drafted in the 2nd round by the Chargers and was expected to make an impact in the middle of the Chargers defense. He has struggled. He doesn’t have much competition for playing time in the middle, so he gets all the snaps. He is really having his struggles taking on blockers and he has struggled making tackles.

There were concerns about Te’o when he was drafted and those concerns are starting to surface right in front of all of our faces. He was exposed in the game against Alabama in college and now he is getting torn apart on the big stage. Teams are running right at him and making him take on blockers. He has not been able to shed them. When he does get in the right spot, he misses the tackle.

He has a ton of work to get done this offseason. He will have to bulk up and learn how to shed blockers. He is a student of the game and I know he will put in the work, but there is so much that we need to see out of him.

At this point, he is looking like a BUST!

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  • boltup

    Calm down with the word bust it takes 3 to 4 years for that word

    • Tazzster

      Well if we don’t use bust, what should we use…. below average player? Practice squad guy?

      • boltup

        A rookie?

        • Tazzster


          Manti may become a decent player. But when I watch him play, I don’t see anything that makes me say, “This guy is going to be a pro-bowler someday”

          So, depending upon your expectations for a second round player…. maybe he is a bust and maybe not. If he turns into a solid player but not a pro-bowler, is that a bust? I guess we need to define bust…

          • shane

            2nd rounders aren’t expected to be pro-bowlers…if he becomes a solid player absolutely not a bust. bust = jamarcus russell, ryan leaf, vince young. guys who are FIRST ROUNDERS and a few years later can’t even make a roster.

          • Stefanie Smith

            tebow = bust?

          • joerockt

            First round pick who finds himself on the street a few years later is pretty much the definition of bust.

          • Stefanie Smith

            You are right, joe. Man, college really gets these guys to delude themselves.

  • connor

    He has only played like 4 games. Give him a chance to understand everything. Being without Donald Butler and being asked to run that defense is a lot for a rookie

    • Tazzster

      But how many awesome plays has he made in 4 games?

      I remember him sniffing out a QB run and stopping that…. but other than that….

      I think if he was going to be a superstar, we would have seen something by now.

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

        ya we haven’t really seen any sort of highlight play from him whatsoever, the fact 2 of his INT’s at ND were against Denard Robinson tells me that his stats were a bit padded against really bad college Qb’s.

  • Rsmboltfan

    You can’t judge him yet. The entire defense is terrible!

    • Ambitoos

      Now IS the time to judge him. His tackling has been a disappointment to say the least.

      • arnie

        Tackling on defense, across the board has been a disappointment. Manti is playing like a rookie.

        • Stefanie Smith

          Yes, a rookie who doesn’t have too many decent examples to follow to learn better tackling technique and skill.

          • arnie

            I wonder “who’s” responsible for coordinating that?

          • Peter Thompson

            Hahaha… get em, Arnie!!!!!

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    I honestly think Manti is a big dumb jock and missing those preseason/early games set him back in his learning curve. It might take him all of this season and next preseason to get it going but I think with the right pieces put in place around him he will be ok and…… he needs to add like 15lbs of pure buffness in the offseason, his puffy hawaiian build is not a NFL build.

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

      Oh and he needs a Big Ass NT in front of him so he doesn’t have to shed so many blocks (he can’t shed anybody)

      • joerockt

        Nix? We might have a shot…

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

      who ever gave me a dislike, listen to his interviews, look at his past. Are those things smart people would get caught up in? His interviews are very comparable to Mathews who is also pretty slow but just cause your a dumb jock doesn’t mean anything bad against the way you play football, It just might take him longer to learn everything…..and man is there Alot to learn at this level.

      • arnie

        Some people just don’t like what you have to say. The truth isn’t always what people want to hear.

  • Stan Zab

    SMH. Not one mention of him missing the entire preseason and the first several games. Dude is just now getting up to speed health-wise and you’re expecting a rookie to be flying around like a vet LB at full strength. Unrealistic. There’s no way you can call him a bust at this point.

  • Moke Braddah Boltz

    Too early, he was injured beginning of the season and hasn’t played much give him a chance. This isn’t college, he’ll learn and he’ll get better … only thing he can do so calm down about him being a bust talk to me in 3 or 4 years i might have something different to say.

  • Trey P

    If hes a bust then ingrams a bust shareece is a bust kendall is a bust.. Give people a chance. It aint like the old days no one has patients shaun Phillips is prime example

  • Mario Flores

    This is why I don’t normally read Bolt Beat articles. They’re complete garbage. You can’t call someone a bust in his first year. He also missed all of his training camp and part of the season due to a foot injury. You also have no idea if the injury is still lingering or not. Give him a full offseason and a training camp and see what he can do. There is a huge learning curve going from college to the NFL.

  • shane

    the hype on teo is unrealistic…dude went in the 2nd round. not top 10. is dion jordan a bust? eric fisher a bust? luke joekel? dj hayden? lane johnson, mingo, cooper, austin, milliner. by this “logic” just about every first rounder is a bust. c’mon man!

    • Stefanie Smith

      No actually, this week they are loving on Tavon Austin. They probably will be beating him up later. lol

  • joerockt

    Ernie, I haven’t been a Te’o fan for this team since they called his name in the draft, but even I know its too early to call him a bust. Your “articles” are turning into topic rants you find on a message board. Its unbecoming and personally I think its embarrassing. And while you don’t represent the team, you represent the fan base here and I really think you should be a little more objective and not just rant your opinions about why you think the team sucks. That’s our job =]

    Think about what you write before you publish it because a lot of people visit this board and don’t you want to put the best out there, regardless of the outcome of a game? I think you’ll get a lot more respect.

    • veazy

      Felt the same about Te’o before and after the draft. The funny thing is that my, how can I put this, doubts about Te’o are ironically the reason I’m not even giving a fuck about his lack of an impact. Seriously, how many of all the people complaining were talking about him being rookie of the year and buying his jerseys and shit? Spot on Joe, even though I admittedly don’t really agree with you usually (I usually keep that to myself though).

      • joerockt

        LOL, no worries. I know I’m a love em’ or hate em’ type of guy.

        All you have to do is go back to that video of John Harbaugh rolling his eyes after Te’o ran his 40. He had questions then, and now their being answered. I can tell you that he’s not the same player he was at ND. You could tell then he was the heart of that team. All we can hope for is that in a few years he can become that guy. But to call him a bust is ignorant and embarrassing and I don’t like the trend of subjective rants, regardless of how this team is doing. And I get it, we all get frustrated and pissed when they lose, especially close games. But as the main editor, he needs to do just that and put out a little better quality than an after the game, pissed off rant or calling rookies who’ve played a handful of games a bust.

        • arnie

          Nah you just give your opinion with a sincere honesty. Don’t have to like it, but your honest.

  • 619chargers4life

    Kind of early for the B word , don’t ya think

  • arnie

    HAHA. I like that word “exposed” by Alalbama. Let me tell you what got exposed, the best player on the Golden Domers D was Manti. What got exposed is the “entire” Alabama program recruits better.
    Look i don’t know what everyone else was expecting, to me Manti likes to bite off more than he can chew. He plays aggressive, and run right into the lions mouth. As for him to shedding blockers? Just like in ND, when the NT doesn’t command a double team, a 300+ pound man will win that battle every time against Manti.
    As for excuses, there aren’t any. He’s playing like a rookie and is making rookie mistakes, a lot of the stuff he got away with college isn’t going to fly in the NFL. To me the bottom line is, there are “pundits” out there that had a an opinion on Manti and they are looking for “ANY” reason to be right. The thing that most will ignore, He’s been where’s he supposed to be 90% of the time. He just needs to translate that into making plays for his team. That will take time.

    • Alter Ego

      Manti was a good pick. If we were winning – we as fans would be more supportive of his NFL developement. His performance on the field is directly impacted by his teammates. He isn’t ready to lead yet – I believe he will be soon though.

      • Bath Tub Man

        You are dreaming. Manti=Rolando McClain. Great college career, too soft for the NFL. Manti is going to be squashed like an overripe mango by the KC.

        • arnie

          Like everything in life, we will see. Just like had to wait to see if KC’s unbeaten streak would stand against a “good” team.

          • C.Steele

            Arnie I’m feeling you on this one. Problem #1 is there is no NT (or any DL for that matter) commanding a double team. Which leaves Te’o AND Butler to get hit in the grill by a 300+ OL men. that’s a receipe for a disaster (See Ray Lewis in Baltimore when he didnt have a good NT & pitched a fit until he got one). If this is tough for one of the best ILB to ever play the game, how do you think a rookie who missed almost all of training camp, preseason, and the first hand full of games of his rookie year will fare? Let the kid play more than 6 games before we start throwing “Bust” around. I don’t know.. maybe let him play the whole season, and see what he looks like going into next year (Radical Thought). Pundits love to repeat their story line until they convince you they’re right! #GoBolts!

          • arnie

            Um i just shared that, when i said “…Just like in Notre Dame…” as in the NT in San Diego isn’t getting it done here. sorry about that.
            But i agree with you. 100%

      • arnie

        Alter, all i’m saying is he’s healthy and ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding what he needs to do. Most importantly please name a “rookie” that was asked to start and get the plays for the defense?

        • Michael Dages

          Star Lotulelei is one that comes to mind. He is the NT for the panthers and has been playing out of his mind. He is the front runner for rookie of the year. You asked and I delivered.

          I am not saying Manti is a bust . You have to give a guy a sporting chance to prove himself and 75% through a rookie season is not a sporting chance. I say give him until next year to see if he can reach his potential however even then he might not reach is potential that soon.

          Look at Alex Smith. He is having a good year at KC and is a very good QB however people said that he was a bust because he did not become a Payton Manning with in the first 2 years of him being in the league. I think people are too quick to label any first rounder as a bust because that is the world we live in now a days. What have you done for me lately.

        • Voice1982

          I agree with you saying to cut Manti some slack being a rookie but as Michael mention star lotulelie but he was a first rd pick. So I’ll mention the second rd 46th overal pick Kiko Alonso. Guy is a MLB rookie and his stat line is ridiculous. However at the same time the entire Bills D is much better than the chargers whose only decent player is Liuget

  • RZ

    Takes time to be considered a Bust…I’d give him til next season to see if he improves or learns from mistakes from this season.Otherwise I’m sure there are a bunch of second round picks from this year who would be “Busts” considering on how expectations have not panned out for them…yet. On another note, these fools better WIN against the Chiefs!!

  • Stefanie Smith

    I was a T’eo doubter, but these problems crop up at times when there is no leadership given or guidance provided. Why has T’eo not improved? Why is he not catching on? He had something going on in college, enough that sports people thought he would be NFL draftable.

    If he is not learning or catching on—I would look to the coaching staff–whoever that is that trains these rookies out of college. If he is not catching on–then who has fallen down on their responsibility to show him what the Chargers expect? For all we know, he is being taught incorrectly, Not all players are crap–and the coaches are not all the creme de la creme, Some of the coaches can be busts also.

    He had talent until he got here. Thus, I think it is the Charger staff that is hosing it up. The alternative is that his skill set will not mesh within the NFL—sort of like Tebow (good in college, but terrible in the NFL)

  • Ernie Padaon

    Apparently the B-word is a bad word.

    • RZ

      He’ll yeah man…I wouldn’t call my wife the “B” word ever….lol!

      • Stefanie Smith

        I actually thought the article was going to be about people hassling T’eo and actually calling him the B word (bi. tch) omg. lol

  • RussinSactown

    If you want to throw the Bust word around, how about Larry English? Manti is still a rookie and he’s getting acclimated to the pace.

    • Peter Thompson

      I was wondering if someone would bring that up here. Peeps held onto that one until last week. Guess we have finally arrived, four years later. How exhausting was coming to that realization? Hahaha. Larry English is = to, or > bust.

  • Stefanie Smith

    Hey, is Keenan Allen injured? I read that somewhere. I did not watch the game–just parts of it on Red Zone. It is better on the nausea that way.

  • Stefanie Smith

    The only thing I don’t like about building the team through the draft is the sentiment pretty much expressed here…. “it takes time…give him a few years.” So when we load the team up with a bunch of untested rookies—are we supposed to wait yet again for a few more years to be a championship caliber team? Really getting sick of it.


    Larry English is a bust
    Manti Te’o is just a rookie

  • 12212

    So Donald Butler had 5 mistackles, couple more than Manti, Butler is a bust too or youre just hating on Manti specifically, maybe your brain is a bust sir since alot of players were missing tackles and you like to pick on Manti like he’s the only one there.

  • MantiSucks

    TEO SUCKS. I’ve said it all along!!! Everyone talks about how good they think he is and all these high hopes but WHAT THE F HAS HE DONE?!?!? He’s sucked so much all year, and I knew he would. I was so pissed when he was drafted. I’d cut him and draft a lb, but given how pathetic this “defense” is, they should ALL be cut. Haven’t seen a worse defense in my entire life. Screw it they don’t even deserve to be called a “defense” because this is the NFL, and they aren’t even playing at a high school level.

  • tbell11

    Dude I thought you meant the actual B-word lol

  • Peter Thompson

    Oh boy…

  • Ignatius

    Having started just seven games is not enough to label him bust, also, given today’s NFL rules it’s becoming harder and harder for defensive players to tackle, hit and stop an offense which has the most advantages. When the team drafted him we expect the next coming of Seau but we must understand that he played in a different era therefore to hold Manti to the same standard is ludicrous to say the least. My take is that he has to tackle better and cover the field smartly, and if the holds that he’s entrenched to have a long NFL career.

  • Alphonse Lucious

    I’m my yoda voice Ernie……OFF THE GAS, PLEASE GET. While I like reading your article I must disagree with labeling him as a bust so early. Granted that I don’t see any pro bowl type action from him…..but I personally didn’t expect it niether. I still consider him a steal…..keeping in mind that he is STILL behind the power curb trying to piece it all together. He could be better in certain areas of course……mainly shedding blocks better which will only improve in due time, but to label him a bust so soon is splitting hairs just a tad. Give him those 3 preseason games he has missed along with the first 5 weeks of the season and we all wouldve seen an improvement. He reminds me of a younger and smarter Stephen Cooper. Coop never had pro bowls to my knowledge but at one time was one of the more reliable mlbs in the league. Manti wasn’t the main reason for such a faulty defense……even a better pass rush wouldn’t help with Derek Twat……I mean Cox owning an island to defend. That guy is a defensive version of Robert Meacham and we all know how that turned out. We need a lot of help on defense but Manti is not even close to the problem. Saying he is a bust now is like saying Miami actually beat us and not we beat ourselves.

  • Gerald_Hodges

    Do you get paid by the hyperbole or something?

    • Peter Thompson

      Paid? LMFAO! Are you serious?

      • Gerald_Hodges

        Seriously, though. The kid has played 5 games. He needs to work on two things: wrapping up instead of diving, and for God’s sake learning how to shed a block.

        Those are skills that are completely different in the NFL from how they are in college. Now, if he’s still having problems with this at the end of next season, then you can start pulling out the B word.

  • Ernie Padaon

    everyone is so caught up on the word BUST, but nobody has said anything good about his play. At this point, is his play disappointing?

    • Peter Thompson

      Highly disappointing, actually. Not one play I can say “Yeah!!!… That’s how you do it, son!”. He is on the Larry English “hope” plan, thus far.

  • Heidijoy

    Too early to use the B word. Give the guy a break! He missed all of Pre Season and several games. Then Butler who doesn’t look that great this week was gone for at least three games. He needs coaching and time. Plenty of additional places to look on this team that are just if not as much to blame for the losses. Give it time. He will work hard and doesn’t deserve more piling on at this point.

  • freespeechmyarse

    He is brutal, brutal!

    What a bust, a complete and total bust.

  • Gerald_Hodges

    2 TFLs, a stuff, and a pass deflection in an upset of the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Have you now seen something to prove that the kid can play?

  • John Martucci

    This is completely false. He played great the other day. He was injured at the beginning of the season. The whole team has been complimentary towards him. What garbage reporting.