Is Ryan Carrethers A Possible Starter for San Diego This Year?
This year is a very important one for the San Diego Chargers, as the team didn’t have much salary cap space to improve the roster via free agency. Yet, general manager Tom Telesco and his staff did an excellent job of acquiring reinforcements through the 2014 NFL Draft.
The biggest improvement could be on defense with the selection of CB Jason Verrett, OLB Jeremiah Attaochu and NT Ryan Carrethers, who could be the sleeper pick of this year’s Chargers rookie class. You can expect the defense to be younger, faster and more physical this upcoming season.
What’s not to like about the 6-foot-2, 331-pound Carrethers? He’s bigger and stronger than past failed experiments at the nose tackle position such as Antonio Garay and Cam Thomas, as the front office has finally addressed a glaring need since the days of Jamal Williams anchoring the middle of the defense. The Chargers were desperate to find quality depth behind the incumbent starter, Sean Lissemore, who settled down the erratic play of the defense once he was inserted into the starting lineup last season.
I like Carrethers’ chances of making an immediate impact on this team, as his main responsibility will be clogging gaps in the middle of the field and force the opposition to double-team him. Having a nose tackle who dominates the line of scrimmage is essential for the Chargers’ defense to be successful. It allows ILBs Manti Te’o and Donald Butler to be fluid and able to tackle ball carriers.
Don’t fall into the trap thinking Carrethers is just another big body who will take up space, as he led Arkansas State with six sacks last year. His footwork and ability to change direction in order to put pressure on the quarterback will be a pleasant addition to the Chargers’ anemic pass rush.
Time will tell whether or not Telesco succeeded in filling the holes on the roster, but he selected players who truly love the game of football. So, Charger fans have to be excited with the direction in which their team is going.