Article by: Robert Calfee
Just about everyone would agree that the San Diego Chargers exceeded expectations in the 2013 NFL season. There were very few people who thought they would be able to make the playoffs, but Philip Rivers turned in a very good statistical season to help them have team success. The future is now bright for San Diego, as they feel like they should be even better in 2014 with a healthy roster. One guy in particular who could really help the defense is Dwight Freeney. The team was not considered a very good pick up in fantasy football on defense last year, but he will add a bit more stability to the linebacker position.
At age 34, Freeney is on the decline. He last made the Pro bowl in 2011, and he hasn’t been a first-team All-Pro since the 2009 year. However, that does not mean he can’t contribute at a high level for San Diego. Not only that, but his leadership role in the locker room could help as well.
Freeney was only able to play in four games last year due to a quadriceps tear. He had to spend the offseason getting back into NFL shape. In the preseason, he has flashed signs of being 100%, and that is perfect for a San Diego team that would love to be more ferocious on defense.
When it comes to talk, Freeney has certainly been doing some of that so far in the preseason. In fact, he has gone on record saying that he feels like this team could be a Super Bowl contender by the end of the year. Any team that makes the playoffs in the NFL has a shot, and this team looks to be more balanced than ever. No one has been able to really get a good look at what this team looks like with Freeney contributing at a high level, so maybe San Diego was only scratching the surface a year ago. If Rivers and the offense can put up solid fantasy football numbers, Freeney could anchor a defense ready to challenge Denver and Kansas City for divisional supremacy.