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Sean Lissemore Owns Important Role in 2016

Joey Bosa is a talented 20-year old defensive end selected third overall in the NFL Draft.

Brandon Mebane is a steady nose tackle who was a staple of the Seattle Seahawks defense before signing with the Chargers in March.

Corey Liuget is a 26-year old defensive tackle fresh off his first season serving as a team captain.  

As a result, it's easy to see why Sean Lissemore has garnered little publicity this offseason.  However, you shouldn't forget about the steady veteran who still figures to play a big role in 2016.

Lauded for his professionalism, Lissemore isn't fazed by no longer having the "starter" tag next to his name.  He appeared in 11 games with five starts last season before suffering a shoulder injury that eventually ended his season against Kansas City on Nov. 22. Following a disappointing 2015 season, he is solely concentrated on winning.

"I'm more focused on having a good season," he said.  "After last season, as a team, we're not happy with the way things went.  Individually, I wasn't happy with the way things went with getting injured.  Let's just say it's been a long offseason, and I'm looking forward to next season getting here already. I just want to play well, and I'm really excited about it.  So I'm not focused on starting or not; I'm just focused on helping this team win."

A versatile veteran entering his fourth season in San Diego, the 6-3, 303-pound lineman is a consummate pro capable of playing nose tackle and defensive end. While he may no longer be a quote-unquote "starter", Lissemore remains very much in the Bolts' plans.

"My approach every year has been that wherever the team needs me, that is where I am going to be," he said.  "If that is at defensive end, I'll play defensive end.  If it's at three-technique, I'll play three-technique.  If it's at nose, I'll play nose.  Being a jack of all trades has always been my mentality. I'll do whatever the defense needs."

Although he has played both positions the past three seasons, Lissemore will spend the majority of his time at defensive end.  He will still see action at nose tackle, and outlined the major differences between each spot.

"The biggest difference is at nose, you get more double teamed.  I feel like from a pass rush standpoint, as a defensive end you get more one on ones.  You get a better angle to the quarterback.  You have better vision on the ball, too. Inside at nose, things happen a lot quicker.  The closer you are to the ball, the quicker things happen.  So you have a lot more time to react and see things outside at defensive end."

With only a select number of defensive linemen able to dress each week, Lissemore's versatility is a boon to the Bolts.

"Lissemore has position flexibility for us, and that is valuable," said Defensive Line Coach Giff Smith.  "He is a tough, smart guy.  He is someone who can give us a lot from different spots.  If we (have) only five linemen in a game, he can help us a lot in that way.  He is more athletic than people give him credit for, and he's done well so far this offseason.  He's really pushed himself."

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