Sep 22, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick (61) snaps the ball to Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Chargers 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
SH: Who are the three most important players on offense not named Philip Rivers?
DP: The aforementioned Allen is certainly one of the three most important players on offense. His route running is impeccable and he has sure hands. Another player worth mentioning on offense would be Nick Hardwick. He is the longest tenured member of the offensive line and the quarterback of that unit. He is one of Philip’s best friends off the field, and of one his best protectors on it.
Hardwick is having arguably the best season of his career. The third player worth mentioning is rookie first round pick DJ Fluker. He has been an absolute monster for the Chargers. He has played both tackle positions and has excelled with the exception of only a few missed blocks. Number 76 is a guy worth keeping an eye on while manning one of the less glorified spots on an NFL offense.
SH: Who are the three most important players on defense?
DP: Defensively the Chargers have been tremendously offensive. The three most important players are Eric Weddle, Donald Butler and Derek Cox. All three for different reasons. Weddle has played all over the field. Although he’s listed as a free safety, he has lined up there, strong safety, nickel cornerback, cornerback and even inside linebacker. His tackling has been a bit bad at times, but he has been asked to play out of position far too often.
Donald Butler, despite being banged up, is a stud when healthy. He was all over the field in last week’s victory over Kansas City. He has a ton of ability but has proven to be injury-prone at times.
And lastly, Cox. I mention Cox as important because he has been dreadfully bad. He might be the worst free agent signing by any team in 2013’s offseason. He has to find a way to keep up with the juggernaut that is AJ Green. He has been benched multiple times in 2013 and has a tough job in front of him on Sunday.