Korey Toomer joined the Chargers last season with little fanfare, signing to the team's active roster off the Raiders' practice squad in late September. The 28-year old proved to be quite the find, finishing with 69 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one sack in 13 games.
Thus, it came as no surprise that the Bolts tendered the restricted free agent on the first day of free agency. Toomer officially signed his contract earlier this week, and understands he faces higher expectations than when he first arrived.
"I'm really grateful for them (picking me up)," he said after putting pen to paper. "They finally gave me the opportunity to show what I can do, and that's a blessing. I'm just eager to go out there and play. I expect to continue to get better and help this defense win games. So you are going to get 100% effort on every single play whether on defense or special teams."
Toomer has finally found a home after a string of injuries stalled his career starting his rookie season when the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the fifth round (154th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. He subsequently split his time between the practice squads and active rosters of the Rams, Cowboys and Raiders before settling in with the Bolts four years later.
Ironically enough, his journey has come full circle as he reunites with his original defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley.
"(Bradley) was really cool to me as a rookie," he said. "He really helped to make sure I was learning, because as a rookie, I was really overwhelmed. I think being (overwhelmed) is what caused a couple of my injuries early on. As soon as I started to pick up the defense, I started to get better and progress. So I think him coming here is going to be really good for me. His system allows things to come easy. It is simple in that it allows you to play fast. But now, there are higher expectations than when (I was a rookie with him)."
It's still early in the offseason program, so Toomer doesn't know exactly what his role will be when the season comes around. Still, his confidence is sky high after finally proving what he is capable of in 2016.
"Whatever role they want me to do, that is going to be my role. I'm open to anything. I played in this defense in Seattle, so I know it. It's not too different for me. Whatever they need me to do I'll be able to do because I'm used to playing in this scheme. We ran something similar to this in Oakland, too. It's easy and lets you play fast."
Presenting your 2017 Los Angeles Chargers.