Larry English continues to look more and more like a bust

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The Chargers surprised many in the 2009 draft when they used the No. 16 overall pick on Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English. English was to transition to outside linebacker in San Diego’s 3-4 defense, and the Chargers already had a formidable-looking duo at the position in Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman with Jyles Tucker (5.5 sacks in ’08) emerging behind them.

English had never played linebacker before, and posted underwhelming athletic measurables in pre-draft workouts. After two NFL seasons, English has five career sacks and has started only four games.

The biggest setbacks in English’s first two seasons have been injury-related, and on Friday he showed up to Escondido’s (Cal.) Juniper Elementary School with a protective walking boot on his left foot.

English confirmed to the North County Times that he had foot surgery in March. The Times refers to English’s foot as a “broken-down appendage,” and the fear is that the injury has become chronic.

English also battled a strained hamstring in his rookie training camp, and underwent an initial surgery on the left foot in September of 2010. So he’s now had two foot operations.

The first procedure involved two screws being inserted into the foot.

Said English of the latest surgery, “They put another screw in because something was off. The doctors said it hadn’t healed right or the foot was re-broken. … Hopefully, the second time’s a charm.”

Perhaps English will realize his potential after two left foot surgeries. He’s been a bust to this point.

The Chargers will give English the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong after failing to bring in a starting outside linebacker in this year’s draft.

34 responses to “Larry English continues to look more and more like a bust

  1. injuries are part of the game. can’t man up and play through them? you’re a bust. Busts are defined in NFL terms as a player stats not living up to the draft selection, regardless of injury. Ki-Jana Carter really never played b/c of his torn ligament rookie year. We still call him a bust… just one of MANY examples. English is a bust – doesn’t mean it was a bad pick necessarily (although I think it was) – but either way – a bust at this point.

  2. @tombrookshire,

    Unfortunately, a draft bust just means someone doesn’t meet expectations. I do agree with you however, it is unfair to lump someone who has been injured into the same category of Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, or Akili Smith. But, then again, who said that life is fair.

  3. I feel like most “projected” 3-4 linebacker that was a D-lineman in College ends up being a bust. If their a lineman let them play line, simple.

  4. I don’t think injuries equal bust. It is something that is usually beyond the teams control. And a true bust really can’t have been a “reach” in the draft. No one expected to be the next James Harrison or Patrick Willis.

    I think a bust has to have high expectations and not fulfill them through poor play.

    That’s just my opinion though. I’m sure people disagree.

  5. People roast Bill Belichick after every draft because he didn’t draft the latest greatest “projected” outside LB like English, Conner Barwin, Brian Arakpo, ad nausea. Looks like BB was/is right in not reaching for these guys. Even Willie McGinest and Mike Vrabel took more than a few seasons in the NFL to gel into the role of 3-4 OLB. Looks to me like you just don’t know who is going to be able to play the position until they get some experience under their belt. San Diego reached for this guy because all the pundits said the Patriots were interested. The Patriots and Chargers have had a pretty heated rivalry in the last decade that included getting Marty fired after a home playoff loss, and the “Lights Out” sack dance incident on the mid-field logo. I have to think they might have felt an urge to upstage the Patriots in the 2009 draft, and got whacked for it.

  6. I should also stress McGinest had constant injury issues his first 5-6 years in the league, so I wouldn’t rule this English guy out at all based on injuries. But at this point it doesn;t look favorable.

  7. If you cant get on the field and you’re always hurt, you’re a bust. If Larry English can’t contribute to your team, he is as useless as Ryan Leaf.

  8. At least he has an injury to show why he hasn’t produced, Aaron Maybin can’t get injured because he is never on the field.

  9. Idk enough to say he will or won’t be a bust unfortunately production is tied to ur legacy……injuries included…..

  10. After drafting Cory Liuget to help wreck havoc up front, this will be the year to show he can get it done. If not, well, then he’s a bust.

  11. It is a little pre-mature to call Larry English a bust. It takes a couple years to learn the 3-4 if you are healthy. If Larry English is healthy and has a bad season this year, then you can start talking bust.

  12. He played college as a defensive end, but “never played linebacker before.”

    so, let’s put him at linebacker. it’s the same thing…

    it be like telling a punter to kick field goals.

  13. mondzy805 says: May 21, 2011 4:36 PM

    One reason why their defense fell off the last two years.

    Defense, 1st, 93.8 (4th) v. run
    , 177.8 (1st) …v pass

    They had a slow start, got upset by the Chiefs on MNF week 1 and were swept by the Raiders. No dominance lasts forever, and I would include New England in that as well.

    The thing is the inept personnel moves by teams within the division, usually QB play factor in.

  14. my ex bro inlaw works at the bills front office. they were close to taking english, thank god they picked maybin.

  15. and the Chargers already had a formidable-looking duo at the position in Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman with Jyles Tucker…
    that’s a 50% failure rate after ‘roids are taken away…

  16. Hard for me to call him a bust already in year one he really didn’t get much of a shot to play and plus he was rookie at a new position. In yr two after many observers said he was way improved he ended up breaking his foot so give him at least 1 or 2 more years before we label him a “bust”

  17. As a Kansas city fan I can only hope that aj smith continues to be an egomaniacal gm, pissing off his great players already under contract while making reaches in the draft as done in recent years- I read chargers fans blogs and really feel for most of them, alot of folks were very upset with the 2011 draft-He reminds of a smarter Carl Petersen.

  18. There seems to be some disagreement
    on whether or not “bust” should be
    used the same for an injured guy, as for
    a guy who just can’t compete at the NFL level.

    At the end of the day, if the most determined,
    talented, hard-working guy on the team iskept from contributing–because of injuries–I guess
    you CAN call him a “bust.”

    On the other hand, it doesn’t seem fair to
    slam that guy with the same word you’d
    use for a lazy washout like JaPorkus.

  19. To the Chiefs fan who claims to be happy
    that the Chargers are guided so poorly
    by AJ: Don’t get TOO over-excited by your
    (huge one game) division win:
    During AJ’s tenure, the Chiefs haven’t been
    fit to lick the sweat off of AJ’s sack
    (wanna compare wins, division titles,
    playoff victories?)…if AJ’s so bad, and KC has
    totally been his submissive bitch,
    what does that say about the Chiefs?

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