Why Every Position Group will be Better in 2013 (Starting with Defensive Backs)
By Dave O'Rourke
Dec 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) reacts after the Cincinnati Bengals scored during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Excited to be able to share my first ever article with you all! So here goes:
Do I think the play of this group will be better this year? Well, when it comes to (snubbed) Pro-Bowler Eric Weddle, I think we all know the answer to that. When it comes to the rest, I don’t think it’ll be hard to beat this unit’s decidedly average 2012 performance.
Who they were:
You know what…that’s not entirely fair. The corners had their moments in 2012, and I actually questioned TT’s decision to let Cason walk, but it did seem like Cason regressed from previous seasons and I, for one, want guys who strive to constantly improve. As for Jammer, it was time to let him go; as much as I loved him as a Charger, it was time. I wish him luck on the dark side next year (but not too much luck).
When we examine the safety tandem, the free safety position is a lock, but I think that I speak for Charger fans everywhere when I say that strong safety has been a major headache for a long, long time. Hopefully this will be the year when either Brandon Taylor or Marcus Gilchrist stops that proverbial revolving door (rooting for Taylor but we’ll get to that).
Why they will be better:
CB1: I’m very excited about the Derek Cox signing. He was one of the most talented FA corners on the market; he’s still relatively young; in the three years that he’s played 12 or more games he’s had four INTs (more than any Charger last year) and—IF he can stay healthy—he will be solid on the outside. I consider him an upgrade from the Jammer of 2012.
CB2: Shareece Wright has shown flashes of brilliance and has improved every year. This will be his first year as the starter and I have faith that he can perform as well, if not better, than Cason did last season. Even if he’s just as good as Cason, it means good things for the future.
FS: Eric Weddle = Eric Weddle. He gets better every year. I won’t be surprised if that trend continues. If he doesn’t go to the Pro Bowl in 2014 it will be for the same reason as every year—the media and fans still love Ed Reed, even though he’s past his prime.
SS (and NICKEL): Best-case scenario for Strong Safety: Taylor wins the job meaning Gilchrist becomes a solid backup at corner and returns as starting nickel (pushing Williams into a backup role and creating much needed depth). Taylor was the guy drafted to fill this void and, barring any injuries this year, I feel like he will be the man for the job. If Taylor doesn’t work out then I think Gilchrist will step up. It’s nice to have a little competition at this position for a change and I think the entire DB group will be better because of it.
DEPTH: If the above scenario works out, then I feel a lot better about our depth. We have a lot of undrafted guys after Steve Williams and that’s a little scary, but are we any worse off than we were last year? I say no. Plus, with undrafted rookies like Okoro and Addae performing well this summer, there seems to be hope for the future.
Well, there you have it. I chose to tackle DBs first because I feel that they are the least improved unit so far this offseason. I intend to post articles on the other position groups, like the dramatically improved O-line and receivers, in the near future! This is obviously just an opinion but let me know what you think in the comments!
This article brought to you by The Committee to Elect Eric Weddle to the 2014 Pro Bowl