By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
Just before the upcoming NFL draft, the Los Angeles Chargers continue to add pieces that will improve the depth on their roster that already had six players named as starters to the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl team. Though the signings this past week aren’t in the category of former Pro-Bowlers Khalil Mack and JC Jackson, as the ‘ole saying goes, ‘you’re as good as your weakest link.’ With this in mind, these additions are meant to fill in the voids on their roster before this week’s NFL drafts.
This past week they signed tight end Gerald Everett, wide receiver DeAndre Carter, and linebacker Troy Reeder to bolster the depth on this team for this upcoming season. Everett’s 10.7 receiving average and 12 touchdowns will add to their versatile tight end room. Carter’s combined career 160 kick-off and punt returns should give the Chargers kick return game some juice starting from day one of training camp. The 6-3, 245-pound Troy Reeder will bring his Ram’s super bowl experience to the Chargers’ special teams and linebacking group.
“Number one, interest. Number two, the terms. Number three, the potential — the type of team that they had last year and the caliber that we could have this year, as you guys saw with the offseason moves. I think that we’ll do pretty well this year,” former South Alabama Jaguars tight end Gerald Everett said when listing the multiple reasons, he chose to sign with the Chargers.
“I’m ecstatic. A young quarterback that’s arguably one of the best in the league. He showed some great promise, especially last year. We’re going to try to build on that,” said Everett, the 2017 second-round draft pick of the Rams.
Think yards after the catch when you think of Gerald Everett. Though he will enjoy playing with All-Pro quarterback Justin Herbert, how impactful to their run game can he be. We still have this off-season and training camp to determine his impact on that portion of the offense.
The San Jose, CA. native DeAndre Carter was undrafted by the NFL, yet signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. Carter’s impact on the game came primarily as a return man in the league, and the Chargers needed a bump in this area. His league-leading total return yards (1,038), kickoff return yards (904), kickoff returns (36), and kickoff return average (25.1) will benefit the Chargers this season.
“I knew that they were looking for a returner this offseason, which, I’m assuming, is why they reached out to me. I’m just excited to get back there and bring some excitement to the special team’s unit and make plays,” Carter said of his intentions this season.
“It brings a lot of energy to the team. If you make a big play, even if it’s not a touchdown — a long return — there’s a lot of momentum in the game that flips. The offense can thrive on it, and the defense can thrive on it. If you have a good special team’s unit, it’s going to go a long way into your team’s success,” Carter said when asked about the impact special teams can have on a game.
Former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder made it clear, that familiarity was a concern of his in free agency. Having played for coach Staley when he coached on the Rams defense, the new Super Bowl champion Reeder was excited about and opportunity to play for him once again.
“It was the perfect fit. I had some good times with coach Staley. He reached out to me. I thought it was a good fit. It’s right down the road from me. It’s a defense that I believe in,” Reeder said of why he signed with the Chargers.
“He instantly just grabbed us with his attention to detail, the effort he was putting in — it was contagious to us. We felt like he took us to the next level in terms of our defense. We finished No. 1 in a lot of categories. We were, bought in to him. I feel that here, but more from a whole team, not just the defense,” Reeder shared his thoughts on what he recalled about playing for coach Staley.
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