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Butler is back to full strength..... finally

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    CHARGERS: Butler learned his lessons well

    SAN DIEGO ---- Donald Butler's rise to prominence has been swift. The third-year pro missed his entire rookie season with a torn Achilles tendon, yet took over the starting job without a lick of game experience.

    Stats show he didn't need it. He had 96 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception in 16 starts, not too shabby for a 23-year-old kid.

    The inside linebacker's confidence is sky high, and it stems as much from early production as the man playing next to him. His progress was accelerated by veteran Takeo Spikes, a born leader Butler has known for less than a year.

    In that time he and Spikes have formed a friendship that extends beyond the field, one that strengthens the Chargers interior defense.

    "We've created a real bond, a working relationship that's turned into a genuine friendship," Butler said Wednesday after the Chargers OTA session. "There's a lot to be said for getting to know someone on a personal level. When you get back to work, you understand how that person will react.

    "I'm always picking his brain, and I'll continue to take advantage of his expertise. He's a great resource and a great guy to play next to."

    Spikes believes that Butler's potential remains unfulfilled, largely because he's only now reached maximum health.

    "It's clear that he's comfortable in the system," Spikes said. "His knowledge and the confidence in the system is key, but the most important thing is his health. His speed and quickness between last year and now is night and day. I've dealt an Achilles injury myself and I know how long it takes until your fully back. You may play beforehand, but it takes 12-15 months to truly be yourself again."

    Spikes lost most of the 2005 with an Achilles tear, and told Butler what to expect. He would be able to play and play well the season after the injury, but it would take more time to get back to full strength. Everything Spikes told him came true. Butler feels faster and more agile than a season ago, armed with the knowledge accumulated over two years within the system.

    "I knew I had lost a step. Honestly, there were times where I felt like, between the Achilles and a calf strain, I was playing on one leg," Butler said. "You learn from a guy like Takeo, especially when it comes to similar experiences like this, and he teaches you how to play through the tough times.

    "Now I'm better. I feel like I have my step back. It takes a year to a year-and-a-half to get back to full strength. My confidence level is sky high right now. I feel great and during these OTAs I'm trying to gain an even better grasp on the system."

    Despite Butler's increased comfort and confidence, Spikes remains a mentor during this busy month, with sessions designed to teach and install wrinkles into new defensive coordinator John Pagano's scheme.

    "Brett Favre described it best, when he said it's not my job to get a young guy to where somebody else wants him," Spikes said. "But, I feel that if somebody asks a question, it's my responsibility to answer. He asked a lot of questions, but he listens, he applies and has always been appreciative. I really like the kid. I think he has a great career ahead."
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    The mentoring by Spikes is what I hoped he would bring, at least as much as his actual production. Coaches are obviously valuable resources, but a guy who has been there/done that for many years like Spikes is even more so, IMO. Hopefully Mouton will benefit greatly from this as well.

    Butler looked good last year, with the occasional misstep that you expect of an inexperienced guy. Healthy, full training camp, & all of last year's reps under his belt? Stud in the making.

    Damn right I'm optimistic. No Eeyore's allowed. :tup:
  3. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Feb 3, 2012
    Butler was a beast last season, and that was in spite of not only an injury, but missing a full offseason to go with it. I'm stoked about our LBers across the board.
  4. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

    Jul 22, 2007
    My balls are pumped.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    That play for a TD against the Jets last year was enough to get anyone excited about Butler. With another year in the system and his improved health, Butler could become a pro bowl caliber player.
  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

    Mar 5, 2006
    Wash your hands when you finish...
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. LaDeezie21

    LaDeezie21 BoltTalker

    Aug 26, 2005
    That made me laugh.

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