Addae and Perryman are some of the most under appreciated defenders in the league.
Seemingly all up and down the Chargers Roster there are so many underrated players. It seems to happen year in and year out. This might be because the nation won’t pay them their due until they make a deep playoff run but that’s just me guessing. It seems to baffle me. Phillip Rivers never seems to get the acknowledgment he deserves even though he throws for more than 4,000 yard every year. Keenan Allen never seems to get mentioned when the talking heads discuss the best receivers in the game. Yet when healthy all he does is tear up defensive backs. This offseason Joey Bosa got left off the top 10 pass rushers list, even though his counterpart Melvin Ingram made the list deservedly so. The explanation was that it’s because Ingram helps free him up……yeah, ok!?!? As Keenan Allen says “the disrespect has to stop!”
It doesn’t seem to stop there. Two other guys that never seem to get any love at all are Denzel Perryman and Jahleel Addae. So much talk has been made of how the run defense needs to improve. What nobody seems to mention is how the defenses ability to stop the run in the first half compared to the second half was night and day. Well coincidentally enough Perryman the team’s hard hitting middle linebacker missed the first half due to a preseason injury. When Perryman was on the field there was hardly anyone who could run on this team. What a difference a elite linebacker makes for a defense. That’s right I said it, I think Denzel Perryman is elite. The nation just doesn’t know it yet. This guy reminds me of a mini Ray Lewis without the long winded intense speeches. I say mini because he is less than six foot tall but yet plays sideline to sideline delivering bone shattering hits. If this team makes a real push the nation will take notice and wonder “who is that #52 laying everyone out playing like a monster?” The only thing that will hold Denzel back this year is injuries but I have a feeling he is due for a full season. In fact the first five weeks of the season without him the team gave up 161 yards rushing per game. This stat improves to 83 yards per game once Perryman returned. A lot of that was even inflated by one game against Kansas City otherwise I’m not too sure it wouldn’t have been closer to 60. In the second year under Gus Bradley’s system I believe Denzel can be better than even Bobby Wagner.
Jahleel Addae was once a undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, and showed great promise every year since then. There was some knock on him publicly that he was playing to wild because he got called for late hits in his early years and even sometimes laying wood on his fellow players while coming in late on group tackles. I on the other hand see it is a guy who plays with fire in his belly and a desire to want to intimidate opposing receivers. After all what makes a receiver cringe or hesitate while running routes more than knowing there are safeties waiting to blast you into the dimension. Every year he becomes more mature in all aspects and has developed into one of the better in the box safeties in the league. In fact this new defensive scheme might be the best thing to help maximize Addae’s skill set. When asked to cover tight ends this past season he was phenomenal. He also was tested in this aspect against the best so it should be fairly apparent. I mean when you can cover Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce on a regular basis I would say he has done his job in coverage. It steams farther then that however as he was among one of the best at stopping the run within the 5 run mark. This team had a lot to adjust to last year. New city, new coaching staff, new schemes, and a new stadium. It was more than visible that once they were settled in the team improved immensely. This time around the adjustment period is over and the defense is now stacked even more via the draft. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Denzel Perryman and Jahleel Addae make the prow bowl this year. If the kicking game improves this team will be a real contender and the nation will have no choice but to take notice, including the awareness of the individual talent this team possess. Indeed the disrespect has to stop!!!