It is fair to say that the one weakness on the San Diego Chargers’ defense is the safety position. When I think of the safeties, images of them getting beat deep and being responsible for missed tackles that led to big gains comes to mind.
It is also fair to say that the safety position should absolutely be addressed with the first or second pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
But that is next season, and the Chargers are going to have to deal with what they have right now. That is all they can do, right?
Adrian Phillips has played like a below-average starter, and the Chargers have been hurting with him back there. Rookie Dexter McCoil has flashed some potential–and it was nice to see him pick up his first-career interception this past Sunday–but he is not ready to take over the starting role.
Fortunately, strong safety Jahleel Addae returned from injury this past Sunday, and he showed why he was greatly missed.
Addae, who missed the last eight games with a broken collarbone, is a player who is known more for his energy and passion than his actual skill. But his style of play carries over to his teammates. Safery Dwight Lowery actually looked really good. Realistically, Lowery might have had his best game of the season, finishing the game with an interception, a forced fumble, two pass deflections and a “choregraphed demonstration.”
And Lowery was glad his buddy was back, and not just because they could celebrate on the field together. He said they both think alike, which makes his job easier and allows for more freedom, per San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tom Krasovic.
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Addae provided a spark for the entire defense. He didn’t rack up all the stats, but he made his presence known. The Texans’ Lamar Miller ranked fifth behind Melvin Gordon in rushing yards going into last Sunday’s game, so we knew the Texans’ strength was their running game–and Addae made sure Miller went nowhere.
It felt like whoever ran or caught the ball for the Texans, Addae was right there for the hit. And something else I had noticed: He was tackling with his hands. The “wow” hits are nice–and they are good every now and then to strike fear in opponents’ hearts–but it can be dangerous. Seeing Addae wrap a player up is something we have been waiting to see.
Addae, an undrafted free agent, is in his fourth year with the Chargers. He may never be a Pro Bowl-caliber player, but what he brings to the table should not be overlooked.