The fire still burns in his belly, which is why we’ll see those belly rolls again in 2019.
Brandon Mebane put pen-to-paper Wednesday afternoon on a two-year deal to remain a Los Angeles Charger.
Truth be told, Mebane wasn’t sure he'd be back.
After 12 years in the league, and a draining personal tragedy in which his infant daughter passed away after being born premature, the 34-year old took a few weeks off before making a decision.
“I took a month or two to see if the desire was still there, and it is,” he explained. “So I talked to my wife, and she said if the fire is still there, go get it. You have to have that desire to play this game. It’s something that’s just in you. I just love the game. I love playing. I love competition. And it’s needed because at some point, money doesn’t motivate. The money is going to be there. You still have to perform at some point. And what motivates me is family. That’s major. It’s key. I’m just doing it for them. Seeing them going to the games and in stands, it’s an (incredible) feeling.”
When discussing his desire to play, Mebane routinely brings up his family. He’s also quick to discuss his daughter, Makenna, who passed away weeks after being born premature with trisomy 13.
“If she would have made it out of her situation, I probably wouldn’t be playing this year because we would have had to do a lot of therapy,” Mebane said. “She’s definitely still in my heart. I’m definitely going to miss her. Now, my oldest kid is about to turn five in April and my youngest, three in May. It’s exciting because my kids are getting to the age now where they’re starting to understand what I do for a living. They go to school, and they tell kids at school, ‘My daddy plays football.’ That’s exciting. That’s fun.”
Meanwhile, once Mebane decided to keep playing, there was only one team he wanted to play for. In fact, he didn’t even bother paying any mind to interest from other teams.
“The Chargers mean a lot to me” he said. “I spent my previous three years here, and I like the organization. I like the direction that we’re going, and I wanted to be a part of this system that I’m very familiar with. I’ve (been in it) pretty much since my rookie year. I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
Thus, in the end, returning to the Chargers to play his 13th NFL season was an easy to decision. And, as if those reasons weren’t enough, the moves the Bolts made early in free agency have also further stoked his flames.
More specifically, he’s pumped over the addition of veteran linebacker Thomas Davis.
In fact, Mebane burst out into one of his patented gut-busting laughs when talking about his newest teammate.
“I was telling (General Manager) Tom (Telesco), it’s been a while since I’ve played with a guy on defense who’s older than me!” he joked. “It’s been a while. I can pick somebody’s brain who is older than me now. See what he knows, and I can gain some knowledge from him.”
Browse through the top photos of veteran NT Brandon Mebane re-signing with the Bolts on a two-year contract.