Aug. 22, 2009; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The NFL Network is releasing their Top 100 players of 2012 and there just is not enough Chargers action on that list, so the staff at Bolt Beat got together to create a Top 10 Chargers list based off of their performances from last season.
2) Eric Weddle
Almost every San Diego Chargers fan was elated by the re-signing of safety Eric Weddle, despite his ridiculous 40 million dollar deal, making him the richest safety in NFL history. People were stunned with AJ Smith’s decision to reward Weddle with a mega-deal. Hall of fame type safeties like Troy Polomalu and Ed Reed were now being paid less, causing league-wide confusion. However, Weddle’s 2011 campaign proved he’s amongst the best at his position in the NFL.
Previously, Weddle was most commonly known for his key interception against Peyton Manning in the 2008 playoffs. That pick helped foreshadow this past season. Weddle’s seven interceptions tied a league high, earning himself a pro bowl invatation.
The Chargers overall pass defense ranked 13th in the NFL yet would’ve been dramatically worse without Weddle’s ball hawking mentality. Prior to 2011, Weddle had serious problems catching the football, but clearly addressed that issue during his down time amidst the NFL lockout.
The remarkable part about Weddle’s 2011 season was his ability to notch such tremendous stats despite a horrible pass rush. Now, he is blessed with an apparent freak of nature in rookie linebacker Melvin Ingram, who will force opposing quarterbacks to get rid of the ball much quicker.
I believe Weddle’s ability to also stop the run proves he can do anything on the gridiron. Weddle commonly helps tackle opposing running backs by creeping down towards the line of scrimmage on rushing situations.
The scary part for co-members of the AFC West is Weddle has just begun to break out. At 27 years old, Weddle is now entering the prime of his career and will continue to develop.
Despite the Chargers failures in 2011, Weddle was one of their sole bright spots. In order for our Bolts to succeed this upcoming season other members on defense must help their buddy Weddle out.
Bolt Beat Top 10 of 2011:
10. Takeo Spikes
9. Malcom Floyd
6. Mike Tolbert
BOLT BEAT STAFF RANKING