Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebackers Donald Butler (56) and Manti Te

After Re-signing Donald Butler, Chargers Have Solid ILB Tandem


Chargers fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief as reports came in that Donald Butler and the Chargers have agreed to a deal to keep him in San Diego. Butler also notified the world via Twitter. Eric D. Williams of ESPN reports the deal. So now that’s over with, Chargers fans can step back and admire the solid inside linebacker tandem they have in Donald Butler and Manti Te’o. This should be one of the more solid inside linebacking pairs in the NFL, if they both stay healthy. Both Te’o and Butler struggled with injuries in 2013.

There are many things to like about Butler and Te’o. Both are almost exactly the same in stature (Te’o is 6-1, 241 pounds and Butler 6-1 242 pounds). After missing the first 3 games, Manti Te’o racked up 61 tackles in 13 regular season games, plus another 10 in the 2 playoff games. The numbers tell us that Te’o improved consistently as the year progressed. In his last 3 games (vs. KC, CIN and DEN), he had 20 tackles total, an average of almost 7 tackles per game. Sometimes people forget that Te’o was invited to New York as a Heisman finalist. People think he is overrated, but Heisman voters aren’t stupid, he was there for a reason. This is a solid player the Chargers can count on for years to come.

Butler had 84 tackles in 2013, 2nd only to Eric Weddle. And that was with missing 3 games, himself. Butler also had 18 tackles in the playoffs, leading the team. He had 2 INTs, including one in Denver in the AFC Divisional Game. His 102 tackles in 15 games, including playoffs is an average of 6.8 tackles per game. That’s around the same average as Te’o’s last 3 games.

These two can play ball. They have both proved it. Manti Te’o went a little under appreciated down the final stretch of the season. If the Chargers can acquire a meaty nose tackle via the draft or free agency, this defense will be dramatically better against the run than it was in 2013. Here’s hoping Te’o and Butler can play more than 13 games in 2014, because if they do, they will be fun to watch.

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Tags: Donald Butler Manti Te'o San Diego Chargers

  • Julien Bélair

    Yep NT is our biggest need

    • chris01

      Hopefully we get joseph from the nyg!
      Dude would be a beast and elimnate the need of a nt so we could focus on other postions in the 1st wr? Cb or oline!

      • Julien Bélair

        This is exactly what I want to happen. Sign Joseph and then draft Verrett, Beckham,Cooks or Martin

    • Diegoblue

      I’m with you on that .. Remember how J. Williams dominated .. It will Reyes and Liuget better and our LBs .. It will also make teams one dimensional after we shutdown the run

      • TheReturnOfMrBlanks

        I have a feeling Law is going to take some serious playing time away from Reyes, Reyes was in bottom of the barrel at DE last year. Law was brought in to compete for his job and I bet he takes it.

  • Julien Bélair

    Teo and Addae will take a huge step forward this year

    • Ryan

      I hope telesco follows addae on Instagram because that dude is workin. He’s huge now

      • Julien Bélair

        I agree I will be flying and hitting hard

        • Gunnar Martin

          Haha YOU will? lol..

          • Julien Bélair

            Yes I am a superstar expect big things

          • Gunnar Martin

            Sign him up TT! The answer to all our defensive problems!

          • Julien Bélair

            I would take the minimum salary!! Talk about a bargain

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

            What’s your Instagram? I wanna see some washboard pics… lol.

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

          Let’s just hope it’s other players, and not our own, like he did this season. And hope he doesn’t give himself a concussion while doing it..You know who they used to say the same thing about?… Atari Bigby. You can’t get caught going for the big hit all the time.. just wrap them up, and cover.. don’t get caught biting on play action. That’s the key to being a good strong safety,. and the path to less fines.

    • 619chargers4life

      agreed !!!!

    • CALiFORNiAkiD

      Also Shareece Wright

      In the playoffs he held
      Demaryius Thomas to 54 yards and AJ Green to 34 yards

      Both were Top 5 WR’s in 2013 with a combined 2,856 yards and 25 TD’s

      Pretty Impressive.

      • Julien Bélair

        Good point I think he might have turn the corner

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

        No offense.. he was burnt toast for the majority of the year. Consistency is what I’m looking for in a CB. Even Cason had good games.. just not consistently. I don’t think Wright will be on the team much longer. You can quote me on that.

        • CALiFORNiAkiD

          Give the guy a break he had to take over the #1 CB job by week 2.
          That’s how bad Cox was.

          First year starting and made major strides to finish the season.

          He held Demaryius Thomas and AJ Green to 88 yards combined in the PLAYOFFS.
          Give credit were credit is due. It’s not how you start its how you finish, period.

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

            Sorry, I don’t agree. Andy Dalton was chuckin’ ducks all day. He was awful.com. Green was open plenty of times. At this point, if we draft a guy like Verrett, I think Steve Williams could even take his job. If we sign a decent FA CB too.. he’s as good as gone. Probably within the next year or two. Remember… he was A.J.’s guy. If he stays, it will be as cheap depth. There are just too many CB’s out there who can play better than Shareece.

          • CALiFORNiAkiD

            Your just dismissing how well he finished the second half of the season.
            And not giving him any credit at all lol

            You probably think you could do a better job

          • Julien Bélair

            ahhhh come on give him credit !!!

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

            Tell you what… if Shareece Wright is even the #2 CB on the team when 2015 is done… I will personally mail you $50. If not, you mail me $50.

          • CALiFORNiAkiD

            lol

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

            I wouldn’t take the bet either

          • arnie

            LOL still hanging onto the past? Either he improved or he didn’t? Context, he was a young player, with very little experience, that was thrown into the fire, as a 1st time starter. On top of that Pagano is the master of inconsistency, and you expected him “not” to get burnt early?
            You’re going end up paying the Kid $100 bucks…..

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

            Well… that’s like.. you opinion, man.

            I actually hope I do have to pay that out. Not holding my breath though. Just because Norv & AJ left, doesn’t mean all the players are suddenly good. Nor can we blame everything on Pagano, and being new. Talent will always shine, and I’m not seeing much there.

          • arnie

            Peter, i’ll give you some of that. See my opinion would be, ” they are going to be awesome..” The facts are, when aj & norv got canned, this team did better, with less talent on it. So in one off-season i qualify that as good. As for pags? No we can’t squarely blame him, McCoy is his boss and we don’t know what discussions an decisions were made in Chargers park. The facts are, the offense wasn’t inconsistent, just conservative. We can say the offense is under “new” coordination. As for talent, it’s easy to be biased about something, especially when it’s true. Nobody was willing to give RM24 a dimes chance of improvement, yet the facts are in. Wright showed early the Chargers had the same problem they had from Cason and Jammer, the difference? As the season went on, he got better.
            Now we can debate talent all day and that’s fine. The truth is, Wright stepped up and showed he can play. Like everything else we shall see….

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

            I wouldn’t take the bet either… lol. This is what people said about Reyes last season. He “finished strong”.

          • Julien Bélair

            hahahahaahah I hear you on that one

          • Julien Bélair

            hmmmm that is very interesting…. let me think about it I will respond you this week alright ?

          • CALiFORNiAkiD

            Make it $500 then will talk!

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

            Ok… that’s just ridonk. I don’t bet that on the Raiders losing… lol. I’ll do $100.

          • CALiFORNiAkiD

            $250….C’Mon Man!!!
            This bet is to good to pass up…let’s make this interesting.

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

            $50,000 & you have a deal. Seriously though…. $100… pretty sure we will both be around, and I intend to collect.

          • CALiFORNiAkiD

            Alright! How can I turn down free money.
            It’s going to be like taking candy from a baby.

          • Julien Bélair

            you are arch on him

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

            What does that mean?

          • Julien Bélair

            you are hard with him

        • Julien Bélair

          the last 6 games he was very good. a very good #2 receiver

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

            He’s a cornerback, not a receiver.. and I personally want better. Our secondary was awful. Weddle is the only player that was worth a darn.

    • Nick Lee

      I do agree, Addae makes this LB corps deep.

      • Julien Bélair

        What do you mean?

        • Boltdacious

          Umm Nick he is a safety.

          • Gunnar Martin

            Yeah really

          • Nick Lee

            My bad, I changed it. This is what I meant to say ^ haha. I knew that. My apologies.

    • John Bauer

      I think you are right !!!

  • Tristian

    Good football team right here. Im a 49ers/chiefs fan because of Alex Smith but I have a tremendous amount of respect for the superchargers. I told everyone I really believe san diego wins the division next year and the chiefs finish second. This chargers team is incredibly well rounded and were a dark horse super bowl pick this year. But the Butler signing is a good one for what’s to come for SD. Bright future and wish you guys the best next year!

    • Julien Bélair

      Thx for the support I hope we will see a chargers vs 49ers SB next year

  • Gunnar Martin

    It might be a couple more years until they’re THAT good, but I do like the tandem. We just need a solid nose tackle in front of them. That will help SO much.

  • Nick Lee

    As a former ILB myself, it helps tremendously when there is someone in the middle of the d line that needs extra attention from the offensive line

    • Boltdacious

      Who did you play ILB for?

      • Nick Lee

        San Pasqual High School

  • Fillywins

    Not sold on Te’o yet. He seems to get lost in the play a lot. We’ll see.

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

      Was thinking the exact same thing. Verdict is still out on Te’O. Not gonna sit back and make excuses for his sometimes questionable play. I hope he proves himself worthy of his price.

  • TheTrueBlu

    I think our defense can surprise people next year.

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  • Nate lew

    Get DB and Teo healthy and draft a dominant NT and they’ll look like a top 5 duo.

  • arnie

    I’m Glad to see your on top of that Nick. I’m glad someone noticed, and now understands “why” Telesco traded up to get Te’o and pay Butler.

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  • 1ofHis2 .

    Your right about Te’o being under-appreciated his last few games, but with Butler’s future here somewhat secured for a bit, barring serious injuries, these two will just get better and better. The Heisman awards comment is so right on, but there have been some busts with nominees [i.e., Vince Young]. I hope the fans are excited as I am for the coming season. We need a Nose, Go Bolts!

  • Justin Kliskey

    How can you praise these guys when our safety had the most tackles…thats embarrassing. Whenever a safety leaes a team in tackles the linebackers arent doing their job.