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Reggie Walker Making Presence Felt Once Again
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While he was mainly a special teams stud in the desert, his addition proved to be invaluable for the Chargers defense.
The 6-0, 244-pounder tallied 42 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, six QB hits and one forced fumble in addition to the first three sacks of his career. Walker began the year at inside linebacker, starting two games after injuries hit Donald Butler and Manti Te’o. When those two returned and the outside linebacker position was hit hard by injuries, he shifted to outside linebacker where he made four starts. Overall, the Bolts went 4-2 in the six games with Walker as a starter, so it’s no wonder why the team re-signed him early during free agency.
“It was difficult,” he admitted. “Not only do you have to pick up a defense, I was playing inside first and then outside so I had to pick up that. We had all the multiple packages and I was doing that. And I really hadn’t played a ton on defense before that, so it was everything at once. It was like a rookie year for me, so now I know it.”
Walker is once again showing his value in his first Chargers Training Camp, making a number of big plays including a pick-six during the team portion of Saturday’s practice. Turnovers have been a major point of emphasis for the defense, but rather than take credit, Walker is quick to praise his teammates.
“Crezdon (Butler) made a good play,” he said. “He tipped the ball up and I came in and ran to the ball. Crezdon gets all the credit for that….We’re paying attention to (turnovers) and trying to get as many as we can each and every day. We keep building up to that.”
While he played both inside and outside a year ago, Walker is focusing mainly in the middle, especially weakside behind Te’o. Still, he knows the defense inside and out.
“I know it all, especially as the coaches will say, I probably made every mistake in this defense,” he joked. “I know it now. I think it will help me….There’s a lot of competition out there like everyone has said. It just brings everybody’s level of play up another notch. We’re all out here for the same goal of getting back to where we were at.”