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Breaking Down the Bolts’ D-Line

Swarming Chargers Defense

DE______________________DT___________________DE
99-Igor Olshansky_______76-Jamal Williams______93-Luis Castillo
98-Derreck Robinson_____97-Ryon Bingham______74-Jacques Cesaire
78-Andre Coleman_____91-Brandon McKinney_____96-Keith Grennan

We’ve gotta start this off with the Big Man in the Middle: Jamal Williams. Williams is arguably the best run-stopping defensive tackle in the NFL. His ability to stuff the A gaps frees up linebackers to make plays. This is not saying the Williams is not great at making tackles himself because he is. Williams had the 3rd most tackles on the team last year finishing with 69 total tackles, 49 of them solo stops and a portion of those tackles came in the backfield. Williams is one of the most valuable players on the team as he is the main reason SD is able to stop the run. NFL teams who cannot stop the run struggle to win games.

Igor Olshansky is a beast on the football field. He has a great blend of size and strength combined with agility and speed. Olshansky also has great hands, he refuses to allow offensive lineman to block him by hitting their hands and arms out of the way. Last season he amassed 33 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was much more valuable than his statistics show. Just as Williams opens things up for the inside linebackers, Olshansky gives Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips more opportunities to make plays because the offensive tackle has to deal with Olshansky before he can worry about the linebackers coming off the edge.

Luis Castillo does the same thing for Merriman and Phillips as Olshansky does. Castillo will play in just his third season this fall. In only two seasons of NFL action Castillo has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with at defensive end. Last season he only played in 10 games because of an ankle injury but still managed to rank third on the team in Sacks with 7. Castillo, like Olshansky, is not the fastest defensive end but he has good size and even better strength. It is expected that Castillo will continue to improve and play even better this year than he has in his first two seasons.

It is safe to say that this is one of the best D-Lines in the NFL and it’s obvious they are the best defensive line the in AFC West. Jamal Williams is the ideal nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. Luis Castillo and Igor Olshansky are both perfect fits for defensive end in the 3-4. It will be fun to watch these studs dominate offensive lineman this year and its going to be interesting to see how many of them make it to the Pro Bowl.


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