The Chargers could have a potentially strong rotation at outside linebacker if Melvin Ingram is the real deal and others can stay healthy. Ingram will be fighting for snaps with Antwan Barnes, Travis LaBoy and Larry English opposite Shaun Phillips. Barnes led the team with 11 sacks last year. Ingram knows he was brought in to contribute immediately.
“We believe we have gotten more athletic, faster and more dangerous at rushing the passer,” genral manager A.J. Smith said. The Chargers were last in the league in 2011 in third-down defense.
Coach Norv Turner said Ingram isn’t the only one expected to show well early. He said the next two picks, defensive tackle Kendall Reyes and strong safety Brandon Taylor will be asked to absorb the learning curve quickly. “We got three athletic players that have had great production in college,” Turner said. “They all come in and are able to contribute right away.” Reyes and Taylor’s initial work could come on special teams.
Article continues below ...
Fifth-round draft pick Johnnie Troutman had pectoral surgery last week and is expected to miss at least five months. That will keep him from participating in team offseason activities and severely hinder his chances of playing during the 2012 season. The Chargers said they were aware of the injury before drafting him.
The team signed veteran guard/center Rex Hadnot. The ninth-year pro has 93 starts in 114 games, including 16 starts for Arizona at right guard last season.
Wide receiver Robert Meachem underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this offseason but it isn’t expected to hamper his offseason workouts.
The team signed 21 undrafted free agents, including LSU QB Jarrett Lee. The others were WRs Hubert Anyiam, Jason Barnes, Paul Cox, Taylor Embree, Phillip Payne and Michael Willie; OL Cordell Bell, Charles Burton, Michael Harris; DL Eddie Brown, Logan Harrell and Christian Tupou; DBs Sean Catthouse, Gregory Gatson and De’Andre Presley; RB Michael Hayes; P Kyle Martens.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He wasn’t just a football player. He was so much more.” Team president Dean Spanos on the passing of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau.