Nov 11, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai (96) in the second half of a game against the Tennessee Titans at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Does Telesco Have “A Nose For The Nose”?


It’s no secret that one of the major problems with our defensive line in 2013 was a lack of quality play at the nose tackle position. Cam Thomas was given the chance to step in, and prove that he could be the starter, after Aubrayo Franklin left to head up the Colts defensive line. While it was understandable that Telesco gave him that opportunity, Cam Thomas fell short. He even lost the starting job to Sean Lissemore by the end of the season. He did seem to bounce back, and raise his game after that, but it’s not looking good that he will be the starter this upcoming season. He may have been the permanent back up, had Lissemore not struggled with an injury down the stretch. On top of everything, does Telesco have the “nose for the nose”? His 2013 draft picks were fantastic, especially on offense. But, some people are nervous about whether he can do the same thing on defense. Let’s take a look at our options, and you can make your own decisions about what he should do.

We are approaching free agency in less than a month, and there are some high profile names, and also some guys that the Chargers could take a shot on, for a reasonable price. The marquee names would be Paul Soliai, and BJ Raji. Paul Soliai would definitely be an upgrade, put up some decent stats in 2013, and still has some tread left on the tires. However, he will not come cheap, and the Chargers would have to make some roster cuts to sign him. BJ Raji was moved all over Green Bay’s defensive line in 2013, but with little success. He struggled to generate the pressure he used to, and left everyone wondering if he can still be as effective as he used to. He is younger than Soliai, but will also be looking for a big contract. He has already turned down a pretty good offer from Green Bay. Aubrayo Franklin is another option, but he is 34, was already let go by the Chargers, and on his way out of the NFL. I wouldn’t mind seeing Franklin back, but it is uncertain whether Telesco would bring him back at this point… even for cheap.

There are a couple of younger guys in free agency, who might be good options, and could contribute to the team for years to come. The first one is 25 year old Linval Joseph, who has been nothing but consistent for the Giants for the last three seasons. He will definitely come with hefty price tag, due to his youth, and his solid play in New York. Another young option is Terrence Cody, who is also only 25. He is a mammoth man, but couldn’t land the job in Baltimore, despite coming out of the Alabama program. He has struggled a little bit with injuries, but the reviews are mixed on him. Some say he lacks starting talent, and should have locked down the starting role by now. Other reports out of Baltimore say that his best years are ahead of him, and he will be a steal for whoever signs him. Out of the previously mentioned players, he would fit the Chargers budget best. But, there is risk that comes with the Alabama product.

So, if none of these players is Telesco’s cup of tea, then we will be hoping that a nose tackle falls to us in the draft. There are a lot of conflicted opinions about this year’s crop of top nose tackles. People’s top choices are Louis Nix, Ra’Shede Hageman, Deandre Coleman, and Daniel McCullers. Another option would be to stick with Cam Thomas as the starter, Lissemore as the back-up, and hope that Kwame Geathers or Byron Jerideau can make a cosmic leap by the time the regular season starts. Maybe pick up a cheaper option in free agency. This wouldn’t actually surprise me in the least, as Telesco did this last season with the left tackle position. People were grumbling about Dunlap being relied upon to be the starter. Commenters all turned to the disgruntled Eagles fan-base for their information, and pointed at his less-than-stellar play in that system. As it turned out, he ended up being a steal, and held down Philip’s blind-side spectacularly in 2013. He did miss some games, but he was sorely missed by the fans in those games. This year, I am going to make a conscious effort not to write off any of Telesco’s signings, until they hit the grid-iron.

Well, there is a lot to think about at the nose guard position, and I can’t wait to see what Telesco will do. We are approaching free agency quickly, so we may get our answer soon. Or, we may be closely watching the draft, to see what moves he will make. What do you think the Chargers should do to address the nose tackle position this season? Please let us know in the comments section below. I will include a poll at the bottom, just for fun, so we can see what the majority of our readers think, whether they comment, or not. Overall, this position is very likely to be upgraded, no matter what happens!

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence!

Peter Thompson

How Do You Think Telesco Should Address The Nose Tackle Position?

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Tags: Featured Free Agency Popular San Diego Chargers

  • Brett M

    What are your thoughts on adding a guy like Cody who would be the cheapest and using the BPA in the draft- whether that’s Louis Nix or somebody else. That way we’re covered and let them compete

    • Julien Bélair

      seems like a gamble to me. Not a bad gamble but do you remember D.Cox ? well it could turn like that

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Cox is making WAY more money than Cody would. Not the same IMO.

        • Julien Bélair

          money yes…. but counting on either of them could equally hurt the team if it dosen’t work out

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Perhaps, but if TT signs Cody, I’m sold. Like I said.. I’m not shooting options down, like people shot down Dunlap last season. I think our system & locker room could be a good change for any player. I’m not fully convinced that Cox can’t turn it around either. Stranger things have happened. If they sign Soliai, I’m cool with that too. I just get this feeling he is getting old for that kind of dough, and we have had so much bad luck with injuries. Alot of times these types of players get that free agency payday, and tank that very next season. Just an opinion. There ARE exceptions of course.TT seems to be on the thriftier side of Free Agency. The one guy he didn’t go through on WAS Cox.. and he bombed on that one.

          • Julien Bélair

            well if we go with Cody I will support it but I will be stress out until I see him on the field. but ya we have one of the best locker room right now imo and weddle’s beard could give him the motivation he lacks

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            You know it!!!!!

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I think you could do that, and you could be set. I’m actually convinced that you could bring in Cody for cheap, sign Thomas back for cheap, and have Cody come in on running plays (his strength), and have Thomas rush the passer on passing downs (his strength), and have Lissemore / Jerideau / Geathers as backups. If Cody ends up being good at both, you are set for years. If not, he wouldn’t be a huge casualty, as he will come fairly cheap. That’s why I brought up how people reacted to Dunlap last season. Just about EVERYONE was convinced that he was a back-up at best, and pointed to his track record. Look how that worked out. Nobody even breathed on Philip when he was in there.

      • Gunnar Martin

        The thing about Cody for me is that he seems to lack that motivation, passion, whatever you want to call it when he plays. I feel like he could be a very special player with the talent he has, but I’m not sure his effort is there. Maybe it’s just me. However, I do still like the idea of bringing him in for cheap and see how it pans out.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          John Genarro said the same thing on Genarro-ly speaking this week. Maybe you are both right. I didn’t watch him in college. I just think he fits TT’s budget, and youth movement best. TT could very well feel the same way. Gruden loves him… thinks he is going to be a steal. He knows a thing or two about defense. Cody looked good in that game too.

          • Gunnar Martin

            Is Genarro that guy on BoltsFromTheBlue?

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            He is. He said he thinks that Cody doesn’t “love football”. Caught my attention, and then you said something similar, so perhaps there is some meat to it? I don’t watch a lot of college ball, so I don’t pretend to know a lot about it. That’s why I go off the radar for mock draft stuff. I just don’t want to fake the funk to my readers. Other writers & commenters on here are much more informed than I. I like free agency, then look at the big picture after that.

          • Brett M

            Didn’t they say the same thing about King Dunlap- lack of motivation? Look how he turned out this year. They also said the same thing about Jared Gaither… Oh wait…nvm

          • Julien Bélair

            haha fucking big piece of ****.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            LOL… Gaither is in a “universe of non-motivation” all by himself!!! Nobody else even comes close.

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      i would rather get Cody, then use the top pick for a better selection.

      • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

        Rad.

      • Eli Rodriguez

        I say we get Cody aswell. Drop Cam like a sack of potatoes. Use Lissemore in the rotation with him. Then hope Byron Jerideau is good. If neither work out well then we draft one next year.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          Love this plan.

  • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

    I think the extra money under the cap will help us get one of these guys. Will be huge for the defense

  • Gunnar Martin

    I think it would be worth it to shell out the cash for Soliai. We need a solid, consistent guy in the middle of that 3-4 D-line that can hold down the fort well. In my opinion, he has the least risk out of all the FA nose tackles. His run defense is stellar, so he would immediately improve our entire defense’s ability to get to the ball carrier fast and efficiently. Just imagine that for a second….waiting….oh, so wonderful! Te’o and Butler would really benefit from adding a guy like Soliai. With the cap space taking an unexpected (and much welcomed) jump, it is not unreasonable to think that we could land him.

    • Julien Bélair

      Yep I agree and we can still draft our future NT in the later rounds and let him develop

      • Gunnar Martin

        What NT do you have in mind?

        • Julien Bélair

          I’d say Daquan Jones but I think he will be a third or maybe second rounder depends on the combine. If we want to go in late rounds I like mister Cobble

          • Gunnar Martin

            I’m not sure if Jones would be a great fit as a 3-4 nose, but if he is, then great.

          • Julien Bélair

            of course he would but we need to find a vet NT to let him develop

          • Gunnar Martin

            Of course? He played 4-3 DT in college…

          • Julien Bélair

            I know but a lot of guys switch position when they come into the league. Like a lote of DE switching to olb.

            Jones definitely got the size to be a NT so I think the transition will be relatively smooth

      • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

        i wonder if they can develop Geathers more for the position.

        • boltingindiego

          he has potential hopefully he works hard at it and the coaching staff can develop it.

          • Julien Bélair

            if he work at it like Addae maybe he has a future in this league

        • Julien Bélair

          I feel like he is more fat than strong. is it just me?

          • Calman21

            He is supposed to be ridiculously strong.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          I would love to see that. I know he was an undrafted and all, but I was really hoping that he could be our future NT… he’s just so friggin HUGE & SCARY LOOKING!!!!

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      he would be my number 1 option on the list. he would definitely free up the linebackers and would give Liuget some breathing room also.

      • Julien Bélair

        Yes a NT would not only upgrade the Nt position but it will make our Des better. So our LBs will be better and our DBs. To me NT is our biggest need. Even more than CB

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          absolutely agree on that .

  • navw21

    Im hoping that it is Linval Joseph in free agency. Could actually be a better bargain than people think. At least that is what Im hoping.

    • Gunnar Martin

      Haha that is what we are all hoping.

      • navw21

        Well I actually read in some article… I cant remember where. Because of his limited playing time that he might not get that huge contract. Hopefully we get him a contract offer out before he gets to talk to a bunch of teams.

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          He is going to be coveted, methinks. But, why not get him in for a look on the private jet.. worst case scenario, we have something exciting to talk about.. !!! In-N-Out can go a long way… we have that, right?

          • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

            i thought all we needed was in n out to sign Clary… but we did that one wrong.

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            LOL… AJ drove right by the In-N-Out burger… headed to the airport.. put him on a jet to Paris… and took him to the most expensive restaurant he could find!!! So glad that guy is history.

          • Julien Bélair

            A lot of teams will see that he is a cheap gem.

  • CALiFORNiAkiD

    I think FA should tell us a lot about how the draft will play out.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Way to play it safe CA kid.. hahaha.

      • CALiFORNiAkiD

        lol I’d rather get a NT through FA though.

        • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

          i would much rather get a nose tackle in free agency as well. if we wait, we are putting ourselves in a bad position. we would have to hope one of the better nose tackles are available for us

          • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

            Exactly.. and like you said, that extra money changes everything. We may even save a couple bucks this season. What kind of contract do you see Liuget getting next season? Isn’t he in his last year? More or less than Butler?

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          Me too.

  • vct

    I predict a cfl nose tackle.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      That’s another option… anyone tickling your fancy?

      • Trey P

        Forget Cody and Lissemore is better than cam no way cam comes back he might not even be on anyones team next,year,kind of,like that Guard we had starting that,is now out of football.. But Joseph the dude from the dolphins and the Nt from the titans are the best bet.

        • Derek

          Titans run a 4-3 who you talking bout?

        • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

          I still think Cody is an option TT should look into. Tyrone Greene is the guard you are talking about, but Cam isn’t a bad option for a depth NT, if he is cheap, and they want him back.. he’s just not a starter. I like Joseph the best… but there are other teams that are going to try to land him. He is going to get paid!!!!

          • Trey P

            Yeah Greene thats how I kinda view cm I dont think any other team would want him at all.. But idk when it come sto defense thast doesnt seen like TTs strong suit..he might throw us a curvve and pick up a Wr Guard And CB in free agency and draft a Dt and another Wr or CB in the second round..

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      hahahhaa.

  • Derek

    I wanted solai but for a good price since he’s old. But after reading and thinking on it. I think I’d be willing to gamble on the batch we have. Sean lissemore was a god send from Dallas at nose, and this was after he had lost weight to fit the cowboys 4-3. I dono about jerideau but he’s huge, and geathers started at Georgia. I think cam is a 3rd dwn pass rusher or just a better fit in a 4-3. If we can’t get cam back at a discount I’d say try Cody on a prove yourself 1-2 yr cheap deal, trade for Jesse Williams in Seattle or draft a nt.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      Agree on all of this. The big name is enticing, and if TT decided to go get Soliai, I wouldn’t be mad at all. I just have this feeling that it’s get Cody on the prove it, draft one, or stick with this group, and see if it improves… which they very well might.

  • Nick in PB

    The NT position is a tough one. Maybe the hardest position to play on the D side of the ball. First you have to find a guy that likes to take a beating and still come out on top which is hard to find. Rookies need time to develop so if we are thinking we need one now, drafting one might disappoint a few of you out there. Hard to know what the Chargers are thinking about Gaethers or Jerideau. Do they have potential to develop? Or do we not know yet? It’ll be interesting to see how things play out. Soliai would be a nice addition and would pretty much solve the problem but then it might take up a big chunk of the FA money that Tolesco would like to spread around in other areas.

    • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

      I am right there with you. I would love Soliai, but is it wise to spend that much? Sometimes, those free agents get that payday, and then have a down year. If that happens, we might as well have drafted one, and break him in this season. I imagine that they must think Geathers & Jerideau are worth developing. They kept them, but released a lot of other guys. We’ll have to see their progress in preseason in August.

  • tubbs45

    Soliai would solve a big Defensive issue..

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