When I bought my San Diego Chargers LB Donald Aubrey Butler jersey last season, I was proud to wear it, despite a fairly average season. I thought he was going to be a force on this team for years to come. Then he got the big contract, and I raised my eyebrow. The contract was somewhat team-friendly, but I was unsure he deserved what he got. This season, I am certain he doesn’t deserve what he got. Put Butler as the latest NFL player to get the “big contract”, and completely check out.
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I can’t even fault Telesco too much. What was he supposed to do? Put in Gachkar? Give Bront Bird a call? Put all his eggs in one basket, and bank on Te’O? All of those things would have possibly been worse. Butler is letting the Chargers down completely. Especially for a player that was regarded highly as a team Captain. For all the lip service we saw on the podium, Butler has been a total liability on the field this season.
Missed tackles, whiffs, poor coverage, bad angles, poor execution, poor run defending, and a look of confusion have become his legacy in 2014. This is the player that is supposed to be the man in the middle, calling out the adjustments to the other players… the less experienced players. Is this affecting the way the defense has been playing? I’m starting to wonder. His individual effort has been disappointing. But, is his total lack of confidence rubbing off on the rest of the players? He has two long weeks to think about that.
Although Butler was given a pretty sizable contract, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he could be cut this season. He certainly hasn’t earned the money he has been given, as of week 9. What kind of messgae does this send to the other players? With Pagano losing the locker room, and the defense struggling mightily, veteran players like Butler are supposed to be setting an example with their performance. Gates does it, Floyd does it, Rivers does it, Royal does it, Liuget does it, Weddle does it… even if they have bad games, they consistently make big plays. Donald Butler has yet to have a marquee performance this season. He has just been awful. I would even argue that he hasn’t had a marquee season yet.
One thing I have noticed, is that Donald Butler usually comes on strongest at the end of the year. His performance in the Cincinatti playoff game was a thing of beauty, and kept us alive. But, getting hot at the end of the year isn’t going to cut it. We need him to be a playmaker all season. He needs to turn this around quickly.
After the bye, there are no excuses for this team. There are even less for Donald Butler, if he keeps this poor level of play up. If I were him… I would stay away from the internet for the next two weeks, and figure out if he wants to be a Charger in 2015.
Keep Bolting Toward Excellence.
Does Donald Butler deserve to be a Charger in 2015?