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Weddle expects third year to be charm

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Aug 2, 2009

    Chargers safety Eric Weddle likes the direction of the Chargers’ defense and believes he’s got an opportunity to make a big leap in his third NFL season.

    Chargers safety Eric Weddle[​IMG] knows where the expectation level is for him as he enters year three of his NFL career, but no one expects more than himself.

    “I expect myself to make that jump,” Weddle said. “There are no more excuses; no more time. I played a lot better the second half of the season last year and I feel like I can be a great safety. Now’s the time.”

    Weddle started all 16 games in 2008 after playing a prominent role in the team’s sub packages as a rookie. Among Chargers, only Stephen Cooper[​IMG] had more tackles than Weddle’s 135 last season. He finished the year with a strong postseason and gave himself plenty to build on.

    But as Weddle approaches his third pro season, he believes he’s got an opportunity to be a bigger factor in the Chargers’ defense, and he plans on being just that.

    “Seeing what I did last year, the good and the bad, the bad was things I can correct; things that shouldn’t happen,” Weddle said. “It was just being a step away; being out of position. That just comes with experience, seeing offenses and seeing the game speed. With the new coaches in here pushing me and coaching me the right way, I feel like I can take that next step.”

    Head Coach Norv Turner has watched Weddle mature as a player over the last two years and likes the way the Utah alum has grown.

    “I think as a young player you start to learn what playing in this league is like and I think he’s done that over the last two years,” Turner said. “I expect him to be sound in terms of what he does. That’s the starting point with a safety. Safety is the last line of defense. He understands his responsibility and he carries it out at a high level. We shouldn’t give up a lot of big plays.”

    Weddle voiced many reasons over his excitement for the upcoming year. Not only does he have two years of experience to bank on, he believes he and the entire secondary will benefit from an improved pass rush with Shawne Merriman[​IMG] healthy and Larry English[​IMG] in the fold. He also speaks very highly of first-year secondary coaches Steven Wilks and Cris Dishman.

    But the thing that has him most enthusiastic about 2009 is the way he expects to be used. In his first two seasons, he’s often played near the line of scrimmage, particularly in the team’s sub packages. This offseason, he’s lined up deeper and believes the move back will allow him to use his unique skill set more effectively.

    “It’s nice that I can just be the roaming type and play mostly deep in zone coverages where I can read the quarterback more,” Weddle said. “I’m not in man as much or in the box. I can be a freelance player. I think that’s what I’m best at, roaming around and using my instincts to make plays on the ball.”

    Last season, only the Chicago Bears had more passes attempted against them than the Chargers. Because of that, San Diego made a conscience effort this offseason to improve their pass defense with the selection of English and the signing of free agent linebacker Kevin Burnett[​IMG].

    As Weddle explained, Burnett’s skills will allow the Chargers to play more nickel (two linebackers and five defensive backs) rather than dime (one linebacker and six defensive backs). Burnett’s presence close to the line of scrimmage allows Weddle to drop back where he’s more comfortable.

    “Half of the game it was like I was playing linebacker (last year),” Weddle said. “I’d either be in man or in a short zone where offenses could take me out of the game and not attack me there. Not being in so much dime, I can play the safety spot where I can get deep, play shallow and play the ball more instead of just playing a short zone or playing a man where if a guy doesn’t throw it to my man I can still make a play.

    “I think it’s going to help me be more productive but more importantly help our defense have more success as a group.”
  2. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

    Aug 14, 2008
    Yes, let us never see this again.

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  3. mandude

    mandude BoltTalker

    Nov 30, 2006
    that was a cheap shot man. the other team is going to make a play. it was his first game as a starter, and he's shown nothing but upside since then. critique his game, but man, that was a post i'd of expected from a turd fan.
  4. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2008
    STFU and play!!!!!!!!!:yes:

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