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Donald Butler: “The Possibilities are Endless”
Donald Butler looks at the other linebackers on the Chargers roster and he can’t help but be encouraged.Dwight Freeney, Melvin Ingram, Manti Te'o, Jarret Johnson, Thomas Keiser, Reggie Walker plus others, he knows what a talented group they have. That’s why when addressing the media following day one of the offseason conditioning program his eyes lit up talking about the potential of the Bolts’ linebackers in 2014.
“The possibilities are endless,” he said.”I can’t wait. Just think about it. Me, Manti, Larry (English), Freeney, JJ, Reggie – the combinations of guys we can have on the field, on and off, some guys rushing and some guys dropping, we can really wreak some havoc.”
The problem in 2013 was that they couldn’t stay healthy. Each of the five primary starters in Butler, Freeney, Ingram, Te’o and Johnson missed multiple games last season. As a result, Butler is placing extra emphasis on appearing in all 16 games, which much to his dismay is something he has only done once in the NFL.
“The last two years I haven’t played 16 games,” he said. “That’s a disappointment for me. So just keeping my lower body as strong as possible has been my goal this year so I don’t have any little nagging injury…. (Playing 16 games) has resonated with me since day one when I was drafted. I’ve been thankful to have some older guys who have been successful, and been able to play a long time (and be) around to mentor me and tutor me. That was one of the first things they said. You get paid to play 16 games, and unfortunately these past couple years I haven’t played all 16. So that’s my goal.”
Butler was a free agent this offseason and had the opportunity to test the waters. However, he inked a deal
“This is the team that drafted me,” he said. “I love the fans, I love my teammates and I love my coaches. I believe this is the perfect place for me.”
Butler also believes this team has the capability to go far in 2014.
“With the run we had last year, we know what we want to accomplish,” he said. “Obviously its day one and everybody says Super Bowl. But we know we can get there and we know we have the core pieces in place to do that. So we’re a little more confident and obviously a little more excited.”