Out With Matt Wilhelm, In With Kevin Burnett

Fletcher KellyContributor IJuly 25, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 11:  Matt Wilhelm #57 of the San Diego Chargers looks on dejected from the sideline the Pittsburgh Steelers during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 11, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Steelers won 35-24. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Woah! There's some good news for Charger faithful.

The move was made a week before the entire squad gathers at training camp. This was a good move for both the team and Wilhelm.

Wilhelm was brought in for his skills in pass coverage. However, he proved that it was his worst skill.

A linebacker that doesn't like to hit and can't cover? That's not Chargers material. For Wilhelm, it's a prefect time to land a spot on a team before camp.

For San Diego, they cleared room to allow Tim Dobbins, Kevin Burnett, and Darry Beckwith to take more reps.

A.J. Smith made it clear that the Burnett deal sealed Wilhelm's fate. The Chargers have a crazy amount of depth at linebacker.

I think the main candidate to starting next to Stephen Cooper is Kevin Burnett. Burnett was a special team god in Dallas. His main area of expertise is pass coverage.

Beckwith will alsoย be in the rotation. He has great instincts; he would have been picked in the third or fourth round but was passed over because of injury. I picked him as the No. 2 linebacker behind James Laurinaitis, and I can't get over the fact that San Diego got this guy as a free agent.

Dobbins will see playing time early in the season, but will eventually fade. He won the starting job over Wilhelm six games into the season last year, but Wilhelm got it back and started the last two games of the year. If he can't hold a position over Wilhelm, I don't see him beating out Beckwith or Burnett.

This was a great move by management. At the same time, I wish Wilhelm the best of luck.


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