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Outside 'backer is Chargers' greatest need

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Recent posts by Eli Kaberon

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Posted Dec. 08, 2011 @ 2:44 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

When asked what was the greatest position of need for the Chargers, a team insider offered no hesitation in an answer. "Outside linebacker has to be addressed first," the insider said. "Ever since Shawne Merriman's production dropped off (after the 2007 season), the team has been looking for an elite player at the position." At age 30, Shaun Phillips still has some productive years ahead of him, but he is not the dominant edge rusher Merriman was in his prime and has battled a foot injury this season. Larry English, the team's first-round pick in 2009, has not come close to living up to his draft status, as both injuries and poor play have made him essentially an afterthought at the position. We hear the team feels pretty good about its defensive line and secondary when the roster is healthy, but will need to improve the linebacking corps to be among the league's elite defenses. 

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