San Diego Chargers Playing It Smart With Manti Te'o and the Media

By Dan Parzych
(Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports)

Even though he was a second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, all eyes will be on San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o during his rookie season as fans will be interested to see how much of an impact he can make with his new team. Before the 2012 National Championship, Te’o was expected to be an early first-round pick, but his performance against Alabama on top of the hoax scandal played a key factor in his draft stock declining.

Take all of this into consideration with a poor performance at the NFL Combine–it was no surprise to see Te’o fall to the second round of this year’s draft.

Still, the Chargers were smart enough to realize Te’o was worth taking a risk on considering the type of leadership skills he displayed at Notre Dame and it will be interesting to see what type of impact he makes during his rookie season. Of course, no matter how hard they try, San Diego realizes that Te’o most likely won’t be able to escape all of the questions surrounding the hoax scandal–so they realize that may not go away.

However, that doesn’t mean the Chargers can’t do everything in their power to keep Te’o away from those conversations with the media as much as possible–which is why they’ve been playing it smart by protecting him from the media as much as possible. It will eventually get to the point where the Chargers won’t be abel to protect him anymore, but for now–this is certainly the right approach by the organization to help him prepare for his rookie season.

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