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No assumptions for defense

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 4 hours ago


    Pair of established veterans don’t take roles for granted.

    SAN DIEGO – If the Chargers’ defensive line and secondary starred in Hollywood movies, Luis Castillo[​IMG] and Eric Weddle[​IMG] would be leading men.
    They’ve played leading roles on consecutive AFC West championship teams (all four for Castillo, three for Weddle). Castillo collected seven sacks in 2006 and is regarded as one of the team’s best pass rushers. Weddle combined for 209 tackles during the last two seasons in San Diego, best on the team.
    But to listen to them talk during OTAs (Organized Team Activities), they’re fighting to retain their roster spots when training camp begins in less than two months.
    “It’s the reality of the league. It’s always an open competition for who goes out there and who has the privilege of being able to represent this team, and we treat it that way,” Castillo said. “We still realize we have to go out there every day and get better. Because really that’s the only thing you can do. You either get better or you get worse.”
    Both have experienced changes within their units. Castillo watched longtime defensive tackle Jamal Williams leave as a free agent and Cam Thomas[​IMG] enter as a draft choice. Weddle, too, saw a draft selection join the secondary in Darrell Stuckey[​IMG].
    “You can never be satisfied. Never get complacent,” Weddle said. “Having young guys underneath myself and competing at other spots, it definitely keeps you on your toes. You want to have that. You want to get better day in and day out.”
    Each discussed specific changes they hope will boost the defense this year.
    For the line, Castillo cited comfort and communication with a group of players that weren’t together this time last year, including Travis Johnson[​IMG], Alfonso Boone[​IMG] and Antonio Garay[​IMG].
    “When you’ve had the time to be able to do it on the field and be friends off the field, it makes it that much easier,” said Castillo, pointing to an oblivious group of defensive lineman giving a loud song and dance performance a few lockers away.
    Weddle said he wants to reduce yards after the catch from opposing receivers.
    “Last year we were still just leveraging angles,” he said. “We’re so far ahead with our angles and technique and it’s been a point of emphasis. There were many instances where we were a step late.
    “Our angles were off where the guy caught it and got more yards than he should’ve. So we’re just shoring that up and it’s carrying over to the field.”

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