Oct 14, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers assistant director of public relations Scott Yoffe (right) talks with defensive end Corey Liuget (94) and defensive tackle Cam Thomas (92) before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers Need A Nose

The San Diego Chargers have struggled on defense all season long. Teams have been able to move the football on the team in whatever manner that they have chosen. The Cincinnati Bengals struggle to throw the football, so they decided to move the football on the ground on Sunday. The Chargers have been a mess. The biggest struggle this season has been at the nose. We lost Aubrayo Franklin in the offseason and the team has not been able to adjust without him.

In the Chargers 3-4 defense, nose tackle Cam Thomas has not been able to fill his role. It has hurt everyone around him. Corey Liuget has struggled without a nose. Kendall Reyes has struggled without a nose. The middle linebackers have struggled without a nose. If the Chargers want to ride with the 3-4 defense next season, then they better find someone to take over that role. Cam Thomas is not the answer.

A prospect that the Chargers might want to be watching in the draft is Louis Nix. He is the big nose tackle in Notre Dame and could declare for the draft this year. He is out for the rest of this season after suffering a torn meniscus, but teams know how  productive he is when he is on the field. His former teammate Manti Te’o should know how valuable he is also.

If the team can get production at the nose, then all kinds of other players on the defense will become much more productive. Hopefully the team can find some production at the position or they better flip the defense to a different scheme.

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  • jeffrey scharf

    I thought cam was going to be really good coming out of UNC. I wonder if kwame gaithers has done anything at nose

  • Ryan

    Couldn’t agree more. The nose in a 34 allows a defense to run so much better. I love nix there’s also McCullers from Tennessee

  • Tazzster

    1st pick – Stud Defensive lineman…. i would prefer a pass rusher.
    2nd pick and beyond…. best defensive player available…. cause lets face it, we could use improvement in all positions.

  • Daryl Peek

    What happened to Kwame Geathers?

  • diomar espinal

    Thank you man for finally writing an article on this. You know i preached this all along man. It was sad watching them run the ball up the gut and us not being able to do a dam thing. I myself believed Cam would come in and do well and ill be the first to say i was completely wrong. Cam gets pushed back 3 or 4 yards on every run play. I honestly cant think of a time that he has pushed the pocket . I really pray TT finds a way to get Nix . Then maybe in the second round getting a Corner. I would say maybe try and get an athletic wideout to pair with keenan in the 3rd and in the 4th go after a pass rusher. At first it sounds dumb to suggest we draft a pass rusher so late, but i feel the combination of Melvin and Dwight is going to cause problems. Dwight did not get the sacks numbers when he was on the field but the guy consistently collapsed the pocket and made the Qb move his feet. Not only that but Tourek got valuable time towards the end of the season and can progress and learn behind the vets dwight JJ and melvin. Let me know what you guys think.

    • Trey P

      The linebackers are good we actually have depth now when melvin and freeney get back torek and keisler are solid did way more than English ever did

      • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

        agreed. freeney is always an injury concern though. always has little things we have to worry about. if we have both guys on the field though, i would be stoked. The other guys are perfect for depth.

      • blu3ny3llow

        To be perfectly honest I don’t see freeney coming back next year would be nice having him though

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          he’s signed for next season. it would be the Chargers letting him loose

  • arnie

    Ernie i can’t argue with that, when the Chargers needed the NT to hold his ground or push the pocket, he couldn’t. Without 8 men in the box, covering this up, he has been in-effective. As for a guy that had season ending surgery, we’ve been down this road, i’m not comfortable with it. Not at THAT position. If he goes down, then what? Insert Cam? There are other players out there that can push the pocket and be an effective NT.

  • Gunnar Martin

    Raise your hand if you want Nix as our first rounder.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      hand raised

  • Trey P

    We need a offensive lineman in the first round period..then dl.. Then corner. theres noway they ignore the o line always injured..

  • C.Steele

    Preach! I don’t know how I feel about the first pick in the draft though. It’s harder to come by a franchise LT. If they both grade out the same (LT & NT) I think you go with the LT, and pick up the best FA NT available. Then, draft best NT available in the 3rd. 2nd rounder I think has to be a CB (depending on the quality of NT picked up in F. Agency). We gotta get at least one corner that can cover someone. #GoBolts!

    • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

      If we could get Lewan – Kujo or A. Richardson which one would you want for the LT of the future?

      • C.Steele

        I honestly don’t have an opinion (yet). The only one I have seen play or heard pres on is Kujo. However, the success we have had with the last T we took from AL will probably figure heavily in my judgment. After the season is over, and we know who’s committing to the draft, and where we are drafting, I will start looking at what NT, LT & CB we will have to choose from. Which one do you prefer?

        • tbell11

          I’d rather have OT Taylor Lewan because he has a nasty edge to him the Chargers O-line has been missing since OG Kris Dielman retired. Now if the Chargers can get either Lewan or Kujo in round 1 they should do that, but if both are gone then the best CB like Gilbert or Dennard. I’d draft Nix if both tackles are gone and a CB isn’t worth taking that high.

      • CALiFORNiAkiD

        I’d take Cyrus Kouandjio

    • Tyreece Kaete Sr.

      Cromartie shouldnt have left

  • Michael Popowich

    I agree with some of guys here, continue to fix the Oline first, then focus on D. We see how much of a difference our first round pick of Fluker is, and there are still probs with the right side. Also, agree that a Corner should be in that draft talk as well after the Dline.

  • blu3ny3llow

    I remember thinking Geathers was a steal as a URFA but I guess he’s just not good enough….I think top 3 priority for next yrs draft should be LT, NT, CB….unless they can come up on someone in free agency

  • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

    I don’t know, this might be one of those drafts where we draft like #10 and Nix goes #7 or 8 right before us. There’s a couple other good nose tackles out there in this draft in the later rounds but none as good as Nix. I’m really unsure what way they should go as of yet. I really hope there are like 4 plus QB’s taken and a couple studs land in our spot, we got Ingram like that a few years back maybe we can do that again.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      that injury might make him slide. MIGHT

  • Sergio Quintero

    Passing league, that means until you have a pass rush you ain’t doing squat on Defense. Freeney will be a year older, JJ is not the answer, if a guy like Mack or Beasley is there you have to take them.

    Teams tend to underrate Nose Tackles because the low snap total they get, you probably can find a plugger in the second round, and complement him with a veteran free agent.