There’s no denying just how useful a top-flight safety can be in today’s NFL. With high-flying passing games and dynamic talents in open space on nearly every roster in the league, having a safety capable of combating those threats is vital to a team’s success.
Thankfully the San Diego Chargers have one of the league’s best when it comes to versatility in Eric Weddle. Whether he is lined up in the slot, up near the line of scrimmage as a linebacker, or even back deep in the traditional safety role, Weddle is a huge weapon when trying to offset the trend toward a more wide open, offensive league.
And in no game will that be more apparent than this week against Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
RG3 is known as arguably the most dynamic player under center in today’s NFL, and his ability to hurt defenses with both his legs and his arm is a scary combination for most defenses. While he still presents a serious threat to the Chargers this coming Sunday, Weddle will be huge in neutralizing that potential ticking time bomb that is the big play from RG3. His ability to read and diagnose plays as a freelancing safety is right up there with some of the best in the league today. His football IQ will no doubt be put to the test this week against the Redskins.
Weddle might not be short on talent, but he may be lacking a bit in the modesty department. With a sarcastic grin, the safety told U-T San Diego:
“I shut everyone down I play against. That’s the realistic part. Nobody’s caught the ball on me, and if they do, it’s short of the sticks.”
While the intentional hyperbole is somewhat humorous, the comments really aren’t all that far off base. Weddle is an All-Pro three years running at his position and has been recognized as one of the best in the business for a reason. Opponents steer clear of him whenever possible, and finding where No. 32 is on the field is a must for quarterbacks going up against the Chargers.
For Weddle on Sunday, finding where No. 10 in the burgundy jersey is will be his top task. It’s safe to say the Redskins are really lacking for weapons at the other positions on offense, and keeping RG3 in check will most likely result in a victory for San Diego in Week 9. Watch for Weddle to be his usual play-diagnosing self this weekend and make Griffin uncomfortable every chance he gets.