While working on a post about the Chargers being deep at outside linebacker, I started to think about who would lead the Chargers in sacks in 2014. I then decided that I would ask the fans what they thought on the subject.
San Diego’s pass rush, or lack thereof, was quite pathetic in 2013. Injuries and poor play in the secondary certainly aided in the defense allowing opposing quarterbacks to take their sweet time in delivering the ball. I suppose it’s also worth mentioning that John Pagano’s scheme, more often than not, was bland and unimaginative.
When looking at the defense for the upcoming season, I feel like the health of that side of the ball could be the key to the team’s success going forward. Melvin Ingram was hurt on the very first day of OTAs in 2013. Although he miraculously came back near the end of the season, he’ll certainly benefit from being further removed from the torn ACL he suffered.
Another huge defensive loss for the Bolts was Dwight Freeney. After losing Freeney in week 4 of last year, unproven players like Thomas Keiser and Tourek Williams were forced into starting roles on defense. Clearly, that is not the ideal situation. It is said that Freeney is healthy and ready to contribute. Although I don’t expect to see much of Dwight on running downs, he will be utilized on passing downs.
To say that it was difficult to lose both of your starting outside linebackers is an immense understatement. The team drafted some insurance in the form of Jeremiah Attaochu in the second round of this year’s draft. It’s hard to say what kind of impact he’ll have as a rookie, but look for Pagano to ease him into the lineup and send him after opposing team’s signal callers.
Last year our leading sacker was an injured Corey Liuget. He had a paltry 5.5 sacks while playing through a torn labrum. Finishing a half a sack behind Liuget was Kendall Reyes with 5. The entire Charger defense only accounted for 35 sacks in 2013. That is a number that must improve for this season to be a success defensively.
There are a few candidates that stand out to me as being capable of leading the team in sacks, but I’ll make the list long so that people are able to choose whomever they believe will be tops in the category.
Thanks a lot for reading and voting.