How much better will Manti Te’o be?

By Ernie Padaon

Manti Te’o played through last season with a foot injury and had surgery at the end of the year to have that repaired. He was able to focus on what he needs to improve on in the offseason and he feels that he is ready to make a big step forward in his sophomore season.

“The offseason was great,” Te’o said. “Rookie year is possibly the hardest year. Everyone told me that it was. You go non-stop. It’s all football from your last game in college to preparing for the combine to preparing for the draft to getting drafted and then coming straight to rookie minicamp and going through the real thing. The offseason allowed me to just get some away time and get a jumpstart in my workouts. It was good.”

Te’o was selected in the 2d round of the draft last season and was expected to provide his playmaking ability in the middle of the defense. He had his struggles during the season, but strides were made during the year and people saw improvement game after game. How much more improvement can be seen after a whole offseason and after a whole season of experience? Will he be able to become the playmaker that he was at Notre Dame?

The Chargers are looking for playmakers on the defense. The team needs players to step up to make some game changing plays. Eric Weddle had been the only player on the roster that was able to provide that type of play. Melvin Ingram stepped up and made some of those plays when he returned to the field. Will Te’o be able to become another one of those guys in his second season. If he is able to make that jump, then the face of this defense could be changed drastically… for the good.

I am ready to see some plays from the middle linebacker.