Chargers hope Freeney Has the Dwight Stuff
By Andrew Burer
Dwight Freeney is no stranger to success.
He has started 158 NFL games, including the playoffs.
He has won a Super Bowl, been to seven Pro Bowls and is a three-time First-Team All-Pro. He’s done it all.
“Anytime you get one of the best players in the history of football to join your organization and show the guys the way it’s supposed to be done, you know he’s going to have a great impact on our defense, “ San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said when asked how Freeney was acclimating to his new team.
“He’ll fit right in. He’s bought in to what Coach (John) Pagano wants him to do, and we had a great meeting when we first talked to him a couple weeks back about what we’re going to do with him, how we were going to use him and what our plan is moving forward and I think he bought in.”
Freeney, who played in a 4-3 scheme for most of his tenure in Indianapolis, is considered a better defensive end than an outside linebacker. However, the Indianapolis Colts switched to a 3-4 last season, so this won’t be the first time he’s played as an outside linebacker.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, after watching Freeney during the first two days of minicamp, he still has a ways to go. It’s early, but a guy who is known for his speed and quickness has been slow off the line.
Freeney is 33 years old and may have lost a step, but the Chargers need him to return to Pro Bowl form this year, especially with former first-round draft pick Melvin Ingram likely to miss most, if not all, of the 2013 season after tearing his ACL during OTAs last month.
Expectations for Ingram were high this year. His snaps were set to increase dramatically after the free-agent departures of Shaun Phillips and Antwan Barnes.
Now those expectations rest on Freeney’s shoulders.
“I think his teammates here and the coaching staff that kind of hosted him while he was here did a great job of showing him what type of guys we want here,” McCoy said. He’s a great addition to our football team. We’re looking for big things from him.”