Second-year DE Corey Liuget has excelled in the Chargers’ defensive front, and the youth movement in the front seven got another boost in Week 11 by the play of DE Kendall Reyes.
Reyes, a second-round pick in April, hadn’t made much of a noticeable impact in the first 10 weeks. We heard in the offseason that Reyes mainly would be expected to factor in the nickel defense, which he had been doing, and the depth along the D-line kept him in that role.
In Sunday’s loss to Denver, though, Reyes played 38-of-70 defensive snaps (54 percent), second only to Liuget among D-linemen, and the rookie made the most of the opportunity, sacking Peyton Manning twice.
“He’s a guy who continues to grow and he’s not a guy who’s gotten into that rookie wall that people talk about,” head coach Norv Turner said. “I think that he’s getting better and better.”
The extra snaps for Reyes impacted starting DE Vaughn Martin’s playing time (12 defensive snaps), and Reyes has clearly impressed the San Diego staff with his play. That end position will be worth watching going forward, as Martin is set to be a free agent in 2013. Fellow rookie Melvin Ingram is also starting to see more snaps each week, and with few bright spots for the Chargers in the last month, fans can take some solace in the foundation up front of Ingram, Reyes and Liuget moving forward.
Follow Kevin Fishbain on Twitter