The 2016 San Diego Chargers feature a young hungry linebacking group. In 2015 OLB Melvin Ingram compiled 10.5 sacks, which was his best season as a pro.
On the left side fellow OLB Jeremiah Attaochu had six sacks in 2015. Second-year MLB Denzel Perryman contributed in his rookie season with fierce tackling for the Bolts. He recorded 73 total tackles and two sacks.
Incumbent Manti Te’o is the elder statesman of the group in the middle and he will serve as the leader of the unit. Rookie Joshua Perry will add pressure, but also motivate Te’o to perform in 2016 at a high level. Fellow rookie MLB Jatavis Brown will definitely be in the mix as well in 2016. I believe we’ll look back at his draft spot in the 5th round as a steal when it is all said and done.
Brown played safety for Akron as well as LB. Second year LB Kyle Emmanuel suddenly is now a part of a youth movement and possibly playing for his respective job in 2016. Competition and depth is an excellent problem to have for a bounce back 2016 season for the Bolts.
Melvin Ingram & Jeremiah Attaochu blitzed very effectively from the edges a year ago. Part of Melvin Ingrams’ success was being able to rush unabated to the quarterback. Jeremiah Attaochu benefited from Melvin’s reputation and soon after actual results were displayed. There is definitely reason for optimism and continued success for the Chargers defense.
MLB Manti Teo & Denzel Perryman have to play the run effectively in 2016. An area of weakness for the entire defense in 2015. Manti Teo’s 83 tackles, one half sack, and one interception in 2015 must be even better in 2016. There is talent and competition in-house. Perryman serves as the “Thumper” as he brings the hitstick and a lunch pail to work.
The first order of business is to avoid the injury bug that has haunted San Diego the past two seasons. Manti Teo played 13 games while Denzel Perryman played 14 last season. The Chargers team as a whole must avoid the injury issues to succeed.
These two young men have an apparent on field chemistry. Feel free to watch the last season and the contest in Oakland as reference. These two men feed off of each other and they can be a special duo.
By the end of last season the Chargers offense was a skeleton crew. The results of that four-game stretch at the end of the year was a 1-3 record. The only Chargers win was 30-14 vs Miami in San Diego. The game was considered the potential last Chargers game in San Diego, taking place on December 20th 2015.
ON THE BUBBLE:
OLB Tourek Williams missed the 2015 season with a broken foot prior to the start of the 2015 season. This four-year pro is also in competition to stay with the Chargers.