We have seen it fairly often, Jahleel Addae streaking towards his man. We’ve seen that result end up with Addae being out because he concussed himself making the hit.
Sunday, we all watched as Addae ran towards Jacksonville’s Denard Robinson late in the game and tackled him. I know many people thought Addae had used his helmet to hit Robinson; especially as both Robinson and “Hitman” remained on the ground after the two players collided. I did see that it was his shoulder Addae had employed to initiate the contact and just knew as he was helped to his feet that HE wasn’t going to come back any time soon.
Lo and behold, word came that the Chargers’ starting safety had broken his collarbone. Anticipation is that he will be out 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery today to fix the injury.
So who steps in to fill the void left by his absence?
The team will most likely look to rookie Dexter McCoil and Adrian Phillips to pick up the reps during practice. The team heads to a meet-up against the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday, so naming a starter quickly is paramount.
At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, McCoil may get the call. As part of the Edmonton Eskimos from 2014-2015, McCoil was named Most Outstanding Rookie (2014) after amassing 67 tackles, four sacks and six interceptions, of which three were returned for touchdowns.
McCoil signed with the Chargers in January and quickly proved throughout OTAs and minicamp that he was more than capable of playing at the NFL level. In the first two weeks of the 2016 regular season, he has already made four tackles, adding a defended pass.
He may be considered a rookie but I anticipate that his experience and size give him the nod to fill in until Addae returns to the lineup.
The next option is Adrian Phillips, who has been with the Bolts since 2014, albeit primarily on the practice squad. At 5-foot-10, Phillips is similar in size to Addae though a bit heavier (210 to 195). The former Texas Longhorn has participated in 12 games (two starts) and collected 12 tackles, an interception and defended one pass.
Will Phillips’ endeavors get him the starting job? We’ll know sooner rather than later.
The defense played pretty darn well Sunday afternoon. The secondary looked great. I’m hoping it is easier to plug the gap that Addae’s absence creates than in the past.
McCoy and Pagano will have a tough decision to make and I don’t envy them.
We’ll all be watching and waiting for the announcement.
Thanks for reading!
The hype surrounding Manti Te’o prior to the San Diego Chargers selecting him in the 2013 draft was mountainous, to say the least. Then first-year general manager Tom Telesco moved up seven slots (from 45th to 38th) to take the former Fighting Irish linebacker.
After all, Te’o had received a plethora of awards and trophies at the end of the 2012 collegiate season: The Nagurski Award, the Lombardi Award, the Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Trophy (the nation’s most outstanding football player), the Walter Camp National Player of the Year and a two-time winner of The Butkus Award (once in high school and then again in 2012 with Notre Dame). There was also this one other little thing – Heisman Trophy runner-up.
Those are ALL spectacular acknowledgements. In 51 games at Notre Dame, he amassed a total of 437 tackles (212 solo/34 for loss), 12 quarterback hits, 8.5 sacks, seven interceptions, 10 pass break ups, 17 passes defensed with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Te’o has the distinction of being only the second linebacker of Polynesian descent drafted by the Bolts, the first, of course, being Junior Seau. Te’o was also the highest selected Fighting Irish linebacker drafted since Demetrius DuBose in 1993.
At this juncture in his young career, Te’o’s pro stats look like this through 35 games: 202 tackles with 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and nine passes defensed. He has missed 13 games due to injuries to both feet dating back to his rookie season.
Here is the list of his various ailments since entering the NFL:
August 8, 2013: Sprains his foot in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. He is seen in a walking boot two days later and ends up missing the next five games. Ultimately has surgery in the offseason to repair a bone in his right foot.
August 15, 2014: Another preseason game versus the Seahawks has Te’o injuring his left foot. He sits out the next two weeks and is back in action for the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals.
September 21, 2014: In the road game versus the Buffalo Bills, he injures his right foot. It’s bad news for the Bolts when it is announced that Te’o suffered a fracture. He doesn’t take the field again until after the Week 10 bye when San Diego faced the Oakland Raiders.
Te’o stayed injury-free for the remainder of the 2014 season, compiling an additional 40 tackles over the last seven games. In that stretch, he managed to get his first NFL interception in a Sunday Night game against the New England Patriots on the Chargers’ own turf. The pass was intended for Rob Gronkowski. Two weeks later, he collected the first sack of his pro career, on 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
October 12, 2015: The Pittsburgh Steelers come to town for a Monday Night matchup. Unfortunately, the guy wearing No. 50 had to leave the game for a few snaps to get his ankle taped. While he did return to the contest, and finish with seven tackles, he again is out for over a month trying to get it strong once more.
The Chargers are in a bit of a pickle here. Right now the team is loaded at linebacker with the likes of Te’o (who will be calling the defensive plays), Melvin Ingram, Jeremiah Attaochu and sophomore Denzel Perryman most likely the starters. Joining the mix are second-year men Kyle Emanuel and Nick Dzubnar; plus rookies Joshua Perry, Jatavis Brown and Dexter McCoil. There is also fourth-year player Tourek Williams, who returns after a limited 2015 due to breaking his foot in a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Needless to say, linebackers coach Bob Babich and defensive coordinator John Pagano are going to be putting in plenty of observation and film study over the next couple of months to determine who potentially makes the roster, moves to the practice squad or ends up being released.
Whether Manti Te’o remains a Charger for the entirety of his career remains to be seen. However, Te’o staying injury-free might solidify his spot. The Chargers have always liked him for his leadership ability, strong work ethic, perseverance and instincts. He is an extremely smart player. His only downfall has been an inability to play an entire 16-game season.
Now, I know that there are many people out there who are not fans of Te’o for whatever reason(s). No, he doesn’t always wrap up and tackle his target. Yes, sometimes he runs a bit slow. He is, however, starting to become the tackling machine that had him landing on several top-ten college recruiting lists before he began his senior year of high school.
Te’o himself said it best in a December 2014 interview with Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune: “I’ve always been one to keep grinding, keep grinding, keep grinding, keep grinding. I’m going to continue to get better because I’m going to continue to work.”
Yet the question remains, is Te’o going to be part of San Diego’s plans beyond the ’16 campaign? When all is said and done, this is a business. There is going to be stiff competition at the inside linebacker spot next month from the rookie Perry. We could very well see a repeat of Butler versus Te’o, and that might not end well for Manti. He’s been put on notice. As much as I like No. 50, I don’t think he will be sporting blue and gold come the 2017 season.
I’m pulling for him to stay with the team and pick up where he left off in 2015.
What do you think? Share your thoughts. Thanks for reading!
Time to talk a look around the web and see what others are writing about the team from America’s Finest City. The San Diego Chargers have been in the headlines more than usual this offseason. Here is a quick look at what the fuss is about.
Associated Press writer Bernie Wilson posted a piece on Yahoo Sports on Joey Bosas’ first day of minicamp. Read it here:
Ricke Henne from Chargers.com has a great piece on how the Bolts managed to keep the selection of Bosa a secret. Read it here:
Chargers beat writer Eric Williams has a new piece on ESPN.com on Derek Watt and the one thing he does better than his Pro Bowl brother J.J. Read it here:
How is CFL transplant Dexter McCoil looking in camp? Williams covers that topic also. Read the latest on the hybrid safety here:
Finally, it wouldn’t be a complete day in San Diego without the latest stadium speculation. San Diego Union-Tribune writer Kevin Acee asks if Mayor Faulconer will be a help or hindrance in the movement to build a new stadium for the Chargers. Read it here:
Thanks for stopping in and checking out the news of the week as we bolt around the interwebs. Stay bolted up and locked in to Boltblitz.com for all the Bolts news and upcoming events!
The Greg One
In the wake of NFL Draft week, fans are laboriously absorbing all the information on their team’s new selections as possible. For San Diego Chargers fans, the outlook is bright when looking at the team’s selections from top to bottom.
On paper, San Diego selected the top pass rusher (Joey Bosa), tight end (Hunter Henry) and punter (Drew Kaser) in the draft. They added an immediate upgrade at the decrepit center position (Max Tuerk) and gave Melvin Gordon company and instant chemistry in the backfield in the form of Derek Watt, the same fullback who blocked for Gordon during his record-breaking seasons at Wisconsin. There is very little not to love about this draft.
However, one name has flown almost completely under-the-radar in the storm of NFL Draft fever. Canadian Football League standout Dexter McCoil could be the future of the safety position. Versatile, the 6’4′, 220-pound phenom notched 76 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and one fumble recovery as a hybrid inside linebacker/safety on the way to leading the Edmonton Eskimos to the 2015 Grey Cup Championship. In 2014, McCoil was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie. His season was highlighted by his six interceptions, of which three were returned for touchdowns. The team signed him to a futures contract in January.
The Chargers drafted a defensive end and two linebackers to an already loaded linebacker corps. McCoil may rotate in as a linebacker on sub-packages; however, his true worth is elsewhere. The void is in the secondary, particularly in the free safety spot vacated by Eric Weddle. The Chargers signed veteran Dwight Lowery to fortify the position in free agency, and brought in Houston safety Adrian McDonald to vie for the position as an undrafted free agent.
If he plays in America as well as he played in Canada, this will be McCoils’ job to lose. Lowery may bring nine years of veteran experience, but McCoil, 24, brings youth, a vast upside and ball skills any team would feel lucky to have at the cornerback position, much less at safety. This will be a heated position battle as minicamps and OTAs start over the next few weeks. Whomever wins, we all win.
The Greg One