It’s obvious to anyone watching the San Diego Chargers that the inside linebacker play from the Chargers is best described as inconsistent. Manti Te’o when healthy has performed, but Donald Butler is basically a non factor for great stretches of the game. Rookie Denzel Perryman has shown great emotion and made enough plays on the field to be left at the position going forward.
The days of Donald Butler in a Chargers uniform are clearly counting down. He will most likely be cut after the season as his play epitomizes what the team is lacking. From time to time, Butler just looks slow and lazy on the field. He looks non-confrontational and you cannot play the game of football by not wanting to get your nose dirty. Especially if you are an inside linebacker. That’s your job. You have to get dirty and you must have a high motor.
Perryman is a bit undersized, I understand that. He is also suspect on his pass defense, but he has shown that he is learning and getting better. Being able to make adjustments and learn from your mistakes is vital for a players development. He has also shown the intangibles that you seek. He is a leader.
Zach Thomas was undersized. He had holes to his game, but he also had 100 percent effort on every play and would regularly finish the game with 15-20 tackles in a game. Butler has 37 tackles in his 10 games. Including one tackle on Sunday in the Chargers embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Being a team captain at the University of Miami shows that he has what it takes to lead a team. He and players like Corey Liuget, Jason Verrett, Jeremiah Attaochu and Kyle Emanuel are player that you can build your defense around. The rest of the defense should be on alert. With this abysmal season the team is likely to be blown up in some degree.
Eric Weddle will surely be allowed to explore free agency. In reality the Chargers will not be able to compete with an offer on the open market. Some team will overpay for Weddle and the Chargers have made it clear they are more than willing to move on from him. An end of a defensive era in Chargers history is very near.
Out with the old and in with the new. Perryman will help lead a new group into a new era of Chargers football. With the skill set he has the team is very lucky to have him. Leave the man on the field and allow him to make plays. He will have growing pains, but better get them out of the way now when the games are meaningless. Put him on the field and enjoy the show.