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Eric Weddle’s Leadership on Full Display

Posted Apr 22, 2014

Eric Weddle showed why he is so well respected in the locker room on first day of offseason workouts.

Eric Weddle has stuck to the same routine each offseason.  He takes two weeks completely off, allowing for his body and mind to recover. Then, it’s off and running. Time to gear up for the next season.

When he returned Tuesday for the first day of the offseason program, Weddle’s leadership was on display immediately.  The Pro Bowl safety’s words were loud and clear and his message resonated with his teammates.

“We obviously have to get better,” he said. “We were three games short of a World Championship.  Anything short of that, you didn’t reach your goal, so it’s unacceptable in our eyes.  But we made strides.  We got back into the playoffs which was a huge plus not only for this organization, but for the players who have been here a long time who have worked extremely hard.  To finally get back to that position was really exciting.”

But that is all in the past according to Weddle.  The Bolts can’t rest on their laurels, and instead must use 2013’s successes as motivation to have an even better 2014 season.  In fact, that’s why he believes the offseason program is crucial.

“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.  “Everyone is getting better in our division, in the conference and around the league.  Everyone has high aspirations and believes they can win it all, and rightfully so.  So these next few weeks (and) months are very pivotal to the growth of the team.  We’ve got to become even closer than we were last year. We have to obviously get better at (getting) everything correlated - offense, defense and special teams.  And go out and have fun.  It’s a blessing to come in here every day and do what you love to do.”

Life in the NFL can be complex at times, but Weddle has learned to compartmentalize it and break it down to simple, specific terms that allow for his individual goals in the offseason to translate into team wide goals come the season.

“You look at yourself as an individual,” he said.  “You have certain motivations for this upcoming season.  You need to get better. You want to be the best.  You want to make the team.  And then that correlates to the big scheme of things.  It’s the motivation to be the best defense.  Or strive for that and show glimpses of it.  Well, what does it take to be consistent and do that for four quarters and a stretch of games?  That is what the great defenses do.  They’re consistent week in and week out.  You know what you’re going to get and you play at a high level.”

The fact that Weddle is always striving to improve himself is one of the reasons he is not only beloved by the city of San Diego, but is a team captain who owns the respect and admiration of all his teammates.

“Never be satisfied,” he said.  “Understand that you haven’t arrived.  I haven’t arrived.  I still need to get better.  I still need to work hard.  I still need to push myself and push this entire defense and this team to get to the next level.  If everyone really thinks that way and humbles themselves to get coached up, to really push each other and not have an ego, then your play will be outstanding the next season.”

Now, you can stay in touch with the team anytime, anywhere, on your mobile device with the official app of the San Diego Chargers.
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