When Denzel Perryman re-signed with the Chargers in March, there wasn’t anyone more excited than number 52 himself to return to the team that drafted him.
Fast forward a couple months later, and while he’s still rehabbing from an injury suffered last season, the linebacker’s mere presence at OTAs has hyped his teammates, knowing what he’ll bring back to the defense in the fall.
“It's great seeing him back out there,” safety Adrian Phillips said. “When he gets back out there full-time, he's going to be in command again. It's just great right now to see him be able to make some moves out there, make plays on the ball.”
“I’m happy for him,” added linebacker Kyzir White. “He’s a hard worker (and a) very good player. I know he’s been through a lot as far as injuries. I can kind of relate because my big brother (Cardinals wide receiver Kevin White) has been through a similar trail. I’m just happy for him. I hope everything pays off for him.”
Check out some of the best moments from #52's 2018 season.
Perryman played in 10 games for the Bolts last season before he was placed on the reserve/injured list after sustaining a knee injury against the Oakland Raiders. In his 10 contests, he amassed 64 total tackles, two quarterback hits, two passes defensed and one interception, not to mention in the red zone, in the team’s win over the Tennessee Titans in London.
Known as the “hammer” of the team’s defense, ask his teammates like Phillips, and they’ll tell you there’s another name to describe the LB – “thumper.” As of now, Perryman said he’s feeling good as he continues his work on getting the calls, but he’s more excited than ever to bring that “thumper” mentality back to the defense in 2019.
“I’m very excited,” Perryman stated. “Right now, it’s still OTAs and everything but I know in training camp, there’s going to be a lot more excitement going on. We’re going to get ready to play somebody else. Right now, we’re just out here competing and trying to get better. But once we go and get ready to play against somebody else, that ‘first-time-playing-against-somebody-else’ feeling will kick in.”
Along with his run-stopping prowess, Perryman’s also known for his energy; a vibe that’s infectious and contagious and permeates through the entire team. It’s something that will be of note heading into next season.
“The thing is with our team, we have a lot of energy,” Phillips explained. “When Denzel comes back, it'll raise up another whole notch. That's how vital he is to our defense.”
“I’m just all smiles!” Perryman said. “I think it’s just me in general, I always try to have a positive attitude and never try to let things get to me like that. But in between whistles, all the smiles go away, mouthpiece goes in, and whoever is on the opposite side better have their chinstrap on!”