By Danny Cox
Name: Eric Weddle – S – #32
Weight: 200 lbs.
Hometown: Fontana, CA
Experience: 6 years
Eric Weddle is a safety that knows his place in the NFL and with the San Diego Chargers. He knows that he simply must go out on the field every single week and simply do his job for his team because that’s all that can be done. Even though his Charger teammates haven’t necessarily all done their job this year, Weddle knows that not doing his would only make matters worse.
Sunday’s big-time victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers was a prime example of what Eric Weddle brings to this San Diego team.
On fourth-and-two from the Chargers‘ own 28-yard line, Weddle audibled to a fake punt after seeing the Steelers in a certain formation. The safety ran for a four-yard gain, a first down, and allowed the Chargers to run five extra minutes off the clock.
It just goes to show you that no matter what the situation calls for, Eric Weddle is going to simply go out there and do what he is told and needs to do. He has been the same way throughout his entire playing career, even back in college.
As a freshman at Utah in 2003, Weddle was placed into action right away as he started the last nine games of the season at cornerback. He earned Freshman All-American first-team and was an honorable mention on the All-Mountain West Conference team.
It was during his sophomore season that he switched to safety, and it improved his game even more. As the years went on at college, Weddle continued to rack up the awards, attributes, and stats.
After the 2005 season, Weddle was named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year and then won the award again after his senior season in 2006. He started 45 of 48 games played at Utah and recorded 277 tackles, 10 sacks, 22.5 stops for losses, nine forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, and 18 interceptions.
That’s not to mention his 52 offensive rushing attempts for 259 yards and six touchdowns. Weddle also completed two-of-six passing attempts for 43 yards and one touchdown. He also recovered an onside kick and punted twice during his collegiate playing career.
It should come as no surprise then that the San Diego Chargers traded away four picks in the 2007 NFL draft so that they could move up to select Weddle out of Utah. He didn’t start any games during his rookie season, but he played in 15 games while totaling 42 tackles and one interception.
Since then, Weddle has started every single game that he has played in the NFL and he is proving that the four draft picks traded for his rights were worth it for San Diego.
Weddle’s best NFL season was actually his sophomore year as he finished with 127 tackles, one sack, and three interceptions. Interception-wise though, Weddle has his best year in 2011 with seven picks with 89 return yards.
2012 has not been a stellar year for the Chargers, but Weddle continues to go out and just do what needs to be done. Through 13 games, Weddle has 72 tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
If more teams had players like Eric Weddle on their roster, then the NFL would have more quiet superstars. Then again, if there were more players like Eric Weddle in the NFL, many more teams would be a lot better.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Chargers news, see CBS Sports Los Angeles.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.