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Weddle, Sanders making impact

Posted Aug 22, 2011

San Diego’s starting safeties initiated a three-turnover performance by the defense and helped limit some running plays that leaked into the secondary.

DALLAS – Eric Weddle and Bob Sanders made a case for safety as the stronghold of the Chargers’ defense Sunday, intercepting Tony Romo and squelching any running backs that happened to slip into the secondary.

With most of the Chargers’ starters playing a majority of the first half, Weddle and Sanders were able to get more accustomed to playing side-by-side.

Weddle intercepted the Cowboys’ quarterback in the first quarter and returned it seven yards to the Chargers 39-yard line. The safety, who re-signed with the Chargers for five years after testing the free agent market, said before preseason he felt like dropped interceptions were the only thing standing between him and the Pro Bowl.

His interception in the first preseason game could give him a boost of confidence.

“I read play-action right away,” Weddle said of the play Sunday. “The backside receiver, I knew he had a nasty split and communicated to the back end.

“I thought he was going to do a deep curl but he kept going, so I fell back, read Romo and just made a play.”

Weddle also helped out the back end of the defense with tackles on consecutive plays and assisting Sanders on the third, stopping Cowboys running back Felix Jones after an 11-yard run.

“It’s about getting the most out of now,” Weddle said. “If we could do that and take that approach throughout the year I think we will be alright.”

Sanders also kept Felix Jones from scoring a touchdown with a tackle on the 6-yard line.

“Turnovers are great. We go into every game preaching we want to get three or more turnovers at least. I feel like we did a good job today. We’ll keep working on it,” Sanders said.

“I take pride in stopping the run. That’s kind of been my deal throughout the years in the league. (Weddle) does as well. He also did a great job of getting a pick today. We’re just trying to be all over the field and help as much as we can.”


Although cornerback Quentin Jammer was accredited a tackle on a Felix Jones seven-yard run in the first quarter, Sanders still made his presence felt on the play by rocketing his shoulder pads at the airborne running back to insure the run was over.

“It’s been amazing bringing in Bob, obviously everyone knows what kind of player he could be,” Weddle said. “It’s going to free me up and make our defense as a whole better than we were last year.”

Part of the tandem’s immediate impact can be traced to the amount of time they’ve spent becoming friends, watching video and discussing football together.

“We’re striving to be the best in the league,” Weddle said.  “Bringing him (Sanders) in and Takeo (Spikes), players who bring that veteran mentality, will only make this team and this defense better.”
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