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Bigby could be the strong safety the Chargers have been missing

Atari Bigby, Ben Roethlisberger AP

Since parting ways nine years ago with perennial Pro Bowl safety Rodney Harrison, the Chargers have been struggling to find a competent strong safety.

Some believed that the Chargers were targeting Mark Barron in round one of the 2012 draft, hopeful that he could become what they team has been missing since Harrison went to New England.  But with Barron long gone before the Chargers picked, they could end up relying on one of the many free agents that team signed during the offseason.

Once a promising young defensive back for the Packers, injuries derailed Atari Bigby’s career in Green Bay, forcing him after the 2011 lockout to take what he could get on the open market — a part-time gig with the Seahawks.  Now, he has a chance to become a full-time starter again.

“This was the opportunity I was looking for during the offseason,” Bigby recently said, via Scott Bair of the North County Times.  “I just wanted a chance to start and play ball.  Everything is going as planned, and I’m getting the chance I asked for.”

The guy with whom Bigby would be lining up likes what he has seen so far.

“The dude can play,” Eric Weddle said.  “He’s been impressive to me by how he carries himself and the way he works.  He’s a lot like me, only a little bigger.  He’s very knowledgeable and understands the role of each player in the secondary.  That’s why I think we’re going to have a solid working relationship.”

The boss is impressed, too.

“I really like his work ethic and professionalism,” coach Norv Turner said.  “He’s clearly played a lot of football, and he has a good understanding of what we’re trying to do.

“He’s a complete player.  Playing the run is his strength, but he’s a good pass defender and a solid special teams player.  When he was in Green Bay, I thought he was a really good starting strong safety.”

After starting all 16 games in 2007 (after starting none in his first two seasons), Bigby was limited to seven games in 2008, due to a chronic hamstring problem.  After starting 11 games in 2009, an ankle injury limited him to six total games (no starts) in 2010.

Last season, he appeared in 15 games with two starts for the Seahawks.

If he can stay healthy, Bigby could be ready to turn the clock back to 2007 — which could in turn help the Chargers turn the clock back to 2002.

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28 Responses to “Bigby could be the strong safety the Chargers have been missing”
  1. footballgod87 says: Jun 5, 2012 10:44 PM

    Werent the Chargers 8-8 in 2002?

  2. castleofcheese says: Jun 5, 2012 10:57 PM

    Bob Sanders light… And that includes the injuries. Pretty solid player when healthy though.

  3. sd5547 says: Jun 5, 2012 10:59 PM

    I am guessing he is the oldest and has a younger brothers named Nintendo.

  4. cadillacjosh says: Jun 5, 2012 11:09 PM

    i’m a Bears guy so a Packer fan could give you a better analysis than i can but i always though his pass defending went anywhere from poor to average. But his run defense is fantastic and no one lays a boomstick like Bigby. He just crushes people its really fun to watch.

  5. tomsd1 says: Jun 5, 2012 11:19 PM

    And Pigs could fly. He will be hurt before the 3rd game.

  6. forthelove says: Jun 5, 2012 11:34 PM

    “Since parting ways nine years ago with perennial Pro Bowl safety Rodney Harrison, the Chargers have been struggling to find a competent strong safety.”

    Wait so the Chargers let a stud player walk, got nothing in return for him and had trouble replacing him? Shocker.

  7. mullman7675 says: Jun 5, 2012 11:47 PM

    It doesn’t matter who they bring in, as long as three entities remain they will never live up to the yearly overexpectations.

    Spanos+Smith+Turner= never gonna happen

  8. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jun 6, 2012 12:06 AM

    Help the Chargers turn back the clock to 2002?

    And miss the playoffs as usual? Works for me.

  9. botchedextrapoint says: Jun 6, 2012 12:07 AM

    cadillacjosh
    Ditto

  10. matthewcarlson1 says: Jun 6, 2012 12:10 AM

    Im a packer hating Vikings fan.. but ive always liked Bigby. Sure hope this works out for him!

  11. bestcoastinfluence says: Jun 6, 2012 12:19 AM

    Dislike. Is that an option here? Dude will probably be injured all season. Too bad, so sad Chargers.

  12. trollhammer20 says: Jun 6, 2012 12:41 AM

    This guy would probably still be in Seattle if it weren’t for Kam Chancellor. He needs a place where he can get more playing time; maybe San Diego is it.

  13. johanneschimpo says: Jun 6, 2012 12:47 AM

    Cue the hate!

  14. ccooww says: Jun 6, 2012 12:58 AM

    Are we talking Superbowl?

  15. westcoastraider says: Jun 6, 2012 2:03 AM

    Atari bigby.. That’s the greatest freakin name ever

  16. randallflagg52 says: Jun 6, 2012 2:21 AM

    Love that picture.

  17. jonsnowsd12 says: Jun 6, 2012 2:39 AM

    I thought the job was already gift wrapped for 3rd pick Brandon Taylor?

  18. bearsoxass says: Jun 6, 2012 5:31 AM

    This guy is good….. Real good!

  19. joetoronto says: Jun 6, 2012 6:38 AM

    Come on, AJ. Over pay him like you overpaid Weddle.

    Then McFadden will have 2 stiffs to run over.

  20. humb0lt says: Jun 6, 2012 11:00 AM

    Mark Barron and Melvin Ingram were at the top of the list of players AJ had targeted in the draft. Wisely, he did not trade up in attempt to get either. And somehow Ingram fell to the Bolts at No. 18.

    That did leave a hole at SS, which has been a weakness since Rodney Harrison’s departure, as Mr. Florio states. The Bolts drafted Brandon Taylor in hopes he can develop into the player we need at SS.

    But now we’re getting this good news that Atari Bigby was more than just an insurance signing. He may actually be able to fill that hole next Weddle, and allow Taylor to develop rather than requiring the rookie to start.

    The drafting of Ingram, the addition of Jarret Johnson and the health of Larry English is going to make the entire secondary better this year in San Diego.

    This has been the best off-season in Boltville since 2006. The Lightning Bolt Super Bowl Express is ready to roll. Rookies report July 25.

  21. dougydougdoug says: Jun 6, 2012 2:07 PM

    joetoronto says: Jun 6, 2012 6:38 AM

    “Come on, AJ. Over pay him like you overpaid Weddle.

    Then McFadden will have 2 stiffs to run over.”

    joetoronto: How is McFadden going to run over anyone, when he’s sitting on the bench, with injuries, like every single season since he’s been in the league.
    Hell, even Bo Jackson is like: “damn, tha’ boy fragile”.

    Try again.

  22. brassknuckles47 says: Jun 6, 2012 9:08 PM

    hey….good luck to the dude. I hope he makes it. Just remember, the way you get, and keep, a job working for AJ Smith is to know WHAT to kiss, and WHEN! Rodney wouldnt do that and see what it got him……a Superbowl ring!

  23. raiderapologist says: Jun 6, 2012 9:32 PM

    humb0lt says: Jun 6, 2012 11:00 AM

    This has been the best off-season in Boltville since 2006. The Lightning Bolt Super Bowl Express is ready to roll. Rookies report July 25.

    Off-season is always the best time of year for Charger fans. The annual disappointment still seems so far away in June. Choo choo.

  24. dougydougdoug says: Jun 7, 2012 11:06 AM

    raiderapologist:

    Well, at least there is SOME hope for the Chargers fans, even if it is only in the off-season.

    But I don’t think there is a day out of 365 where a Raiders’ fan can find a shred of optimism. And now that Darth Vader is dead, there aren’t any more good, funny soundbites left, either. Maybe the spawn will kick in with more than just a killer haircut?

  25. jaialaicharger says: Jun 7, 2012 11:50 AM

    LOL Raider fans! 8-8 gets that smack talk rolling!

  26. radrntn says: Jun 7, 2012 2:00 PM

    jaialaicharger says:
    Jun 7, 2012 11:50 AM
    LOL Raider fans! 8-8 gets that smack talk rolling!
    ______________________________

    and what was your record last year to talk down to a nation?

  27. dumbolt says: Jun 7, 2012 5:02 PM

    well they are defintely missing something, most notable are rings, and trophies.

    choo choo…super bowl express

  28. jaialaicharger says: Jun 8, 2012 8:07 AM

    8-8 is underachieving for SD. 8-8 is the best the Raiders have done in 10 years. Yeah, rings are lacking in SD blah blah blah. its your only argument right now. Hang on to your memories from 30 years ago. SD is on its way. Oakland has no shot. Go Bolts

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