Overreaction 3: Forget a Justin Jones breakout, Jerry Tillery is taking that role and is going to have a massive sophomore surge.
After Jerry Tillery’s first season, many were quick to call him a bust. After Week 1, Tillery looks like he might be a budding star.
In Week 1, Tillery was consistently disruptive. He had one sack and one tackle for loss to go along with numerous pressure. On top of that, it was clear based on a chase down of a screen in the first quarter that Tillery’s motor was running high, which is an extremely promising change from last season.
All of this is reason to believe that Tillery just had a rough rookie year and is ready for a sophomore surge with more preparation under his belt. Having a disruptive interior rusher liker Tillery in his prime could be massive for the Chargers in the long run.
While sophomore surges are common, it is probably a bit too early to believe that Tillery can keep up this level of disruptiveness consistently.
Throughout college and his rookie year, consistency has been Tillery’s biggest weakness. An increased motor throughout the game could be the solution to this issue, so it will be worth watching Tillery’s effort throughout the game next week.
Another problem that could hold Tillery back from a full-on breakout is inexperience.
Inexperience can come back to bite a player in countless ways. In Week 1, the most obvious example of this was his costly offsides penalty.
However, inexperience can cost a player big in other ways. Against running quarterbacks, inexperienced players are more likely to lose containment. Against runs, inexperienced players are more likely to get lost on misdirection running plays.
These factors indicate that we should wait for consistency from Tillery before we buy into him having a breakout year. But, if Week 1 resembles his performance for the rest of the season, the Chargers could have a game-wrecking defensive line on their hands.
Verdict 3: Slight overreaction