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Siler grabs opportunity

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Nov 13, 2009

    Linebacker Brandon Siler has excelled on special teams throughout his first three NFL seasons, but he’s grabbed a chance with the starting defense and is now making the most of it.

    Throughout the first two and a half seasons of Brandon Siler’s career, he’s been a physical and emotional leader on the Chargers’ special teams units. But as he’s excelled in the kicking game, he’s also quietly yearned for more.

    “I know what I’m capable of,” Siler said. “I know what I can do. It’s just a timing thing sometimes. Whether it’s defense or special teams, you’re always going to get all that I’ve got, but nobody wants to go through their career as just a special teams guy. I got my chance (on defense) and I’m trying to make plays.”

    The third-year pro, who prior to last week was the Chargers’ leading special teams tackler, received his first-career start last week in New York and delivered a 10-tackle performance while playing a key role in the win.

    “I’ve been waiting on this opportunity since I’ve been here,” Siler said. “It’s been three long years and everybody has been telling me to be patient. It was good to be out there playing linebacker, getting a chance to run around and make plays. It felt great.”

    Although Siler’s time on defense has been minimal prior to the last couple of weeks, Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera said Thursday that his experience level doesn’t show on his performance.

    “He’s got a tremendous passion for the game and understanding of what we do,” Rivera said. “That’s what helps him. He knows what we’re doing. He’s out there very confident, very poised and he plays like a very seasoned veteran.”

    Kevin Burnett is likely to return to action Sunday, but even with the starter’s return, it appears as if Siler will continue to get reps with the defense.

    “Brandon played real well,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “He’s played real well in both games that he’s had significant snaps and I expect him to play the same this week.”

    On the move

    On the Chargers’ depth chart, Siler is listed as Stephen Cooper[​IMG]’s backup at the “Mike” inside linebacker spot, the one who lines up on the strong side of the formation. With Burnett and Tim Dobbins down last week, Cooper, who has started at the “Mike” position for more than three seasons, shifted over to the weak inside spot, or “Mo.”

    Turner commended Cooper for his selfless attitude and his ability to slide over.

    “It’s a real tough thing we’re asking him to do and he handles it extremely well,” Turner said. “He understands the defense. He’s played both positions as a younger player.”

    Cooper explained that the Mo linebacker plays in space more while the Mike linebacker is often covered by a guard. Cooper appreciated Turner’s words but said that strong coaching and his diligence in the film room helped him make a seamless transition.

    “It’s not a challenge if you’re a student of the game,” Cooper said. “As long as you pay attention in the classroom and to what the coaches tell you, it’s not hard. You go out in practice and get it right.”

    Hardwick, Tucker out

    Center Nick Hardwick[​IMG]’s return will wait at least one more week as he and linebacker Jyles Tucker (ankle) are listed as out Sunday. Linebacker Shaun Phillips (ankle) fully participated in Friday’s practice after missing Wednesday and Thursday and is questionable. Shawne Merriman (foot) didn’t practice Friday but is also questionable, as is defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo (ankle). Linebacker Tim Dobbins (knee) is doubtful, while Kevin Burnett (ankle) is probable.

    Running back LaDainian Tomlinson (hip), tight end Antonio Gates (foot), defensive end Travis Johnson (groin) and punter Mike Scifres (groin) are probable as well.

    For the Eagles, running back Brian Westbrook (concussion) is probable, while tackle Jason Peters (ankle), defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee) and safety Quintin Demps (ankle) are questionable. Peters didn’t practice Friday, while Abiamiri, Demps and Westbrook fully participated.

    Stay deep

    The Eagles are tied for the league lead with 10 passing plays of 40-yards-or-more, and no player in the league has had more receptions of 40-plus yards than DeSean Jackson. That’s something the Chargers are well aware of as they prepare for Sunday.

    “They’re a big-play offense and they thrive off the big plays,” safety Eric Weddle[​IMG] said. “We’ve got to know where they are at all times, what routes they like to run. As safeties and corners, we’ve got to stay deep and let nothing behind us.”

    Last week the Giants had just one reception over 20 yards and three over 15. In the Chargers’ last four games, they’ve given up a total of just five pass plays over 20 yards.

    “We’ve been able to create pressure, so that takes away a lot of shots at big plays,” said Turner. Ultimately you end up one-on-one a whole lot in this game. Our guys have matched up well in those situations and we’ve covered guys extremely well. It’s a challenge this week because (Jackson and Jeremy Maclin) are very explosive receivers and their tight end (Brent Celek) is outstanding.”
  2. Boltergeist

    Boltergeist BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    I really think that Siler could be a hidden gem on our team and I was really surprised at how far he's come seeing him in action as a starter against the Giants. I regarded him as a step slow and that he might struggle in coverage.....He looked MUCH better than what I had anticipated on Sunday.

    What was known is that he is one of our best running stuffers. IMO he is easily our best run stuffing LB....EASILY....even over Dobbins, etc.....He is brought in as a hammer on goal line situations and it is noticeable having him in there on running downs. In passing situations he did quite well also.

    I want to see more of this guy on the field....He may well eventually end up as a starter sooner rather than later.
  3. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Nov 11, 2007
    Love seeing Brandon and Timmy getting some action - I was impressed with his improvement in coverage too :yes:

    Hope to see a lot more of them both in the 2nd half of the season.

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    If our defense can some how get this thing going strong we'll be a contender. I know our running game sucks but that is only a step here a broken tackle there away.

    This game should give us an indicator of how dedicated our team is. Come out with a win and we may just go on a terror.

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