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High Voltage: These Five Chargers are Electric

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PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 9: Danario Alexander #84 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after catching a 15 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 9, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 9: Danario Alexander #84 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after catching a 15 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 9, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The start of the 2013 season will mark the beginning of a new era in Charger football. With a new head coach and general manager both on the lighter side of 40, the Chargers are in the midst of a youth movement. More importantly though, it’s not just a managerial youth movement, it’s a personnel youth movement, especially on defense. 

Donald Butler, 24 – Butler made tremendous strides in his second year as a starter. After limiting him to first and second downs in 2011, the Chargers expanded Butler’s role to include third down and passing situations in 2012. Despite missing four games because of a groin injury, Butler finished fifth on the team in tackles (77), had three sacks and one interception return for a touchdown.

Corey Liuget, 22 – Liuget is another player who dramatically improved in 2012. He finished second on the team in sacks (7.0) and his nine passes defended were second in the league among defensive linemen. 

Melvin Ingram, 23 – Ingram did not have the kind of year many expected in his rookie debut. He only started one game and tallied just 16 tackles and one sack in 2012. However, not every player in the NFL is ready to contribute right away. With another year under his belt and the possible departure of Shaun Phillips, expect him to improve in 2013.

Kendall Reyes, 23 – Despite starting just four games, his five and a half sacks were good for third most on the team behind Phillips (9) and Liuget (7).

Danario Alexander, 24 – After signing with the Chargers midseason, Alexander made six starts and finished with 37 receptions for 658 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s exactly the kind of receiver Rivers is accustomed too. He’s tall (6’5), fast, athletic and isn’t afraid to fight for the ball. He is a restricted free agent this year but look for him to return in 2013.