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Tom Telesco a fan of Manti Te’o’s coverage ability

manti te'o interception getty Getty Images

In his senior season at Notre Dame, Manti Te’o intercepted seven passes. And when Chargers general manager Tom Telesco considers Te’o’s skill set, he sees a linebacker who could be someone very capable of staying on the field on passing downs at the NFL.

On a conference call with Chargers season-ticket holders on Wednesday, Telesco shed some light on what he likes about Te’o’s ability vs. the pass.

“Manti was an excellent third-down player at the college level, especially in zones, especially in his football awareness as far as knowing where routes are coming from, knowing where to pass off a route and pick up another,” Telesco said. “He has an innate sense of knowing where people are coming from, not only to take on blocks and avoid blocks but as far as pass receivers coming through his zones.

“He has the capability of being a three-down linebacker.”

However, Telesco noted that Te’o, who play inside in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme, will have to show that his pass-coverage understanding translates to the pro level if he’s to play on passing downs as a rookie.

“Third down in this league is a very complicated down,” Telesco said. “So we’ll see how it plays out. If it’s this year, it’s this year. If it’s next year, it’s next year.”

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28 Responses to “Tom Telesco a fan of Manti Te’o’s coverage ability”
  1. talkintrashallday says: May 1, 2013 9:46 PM

    BUST

  2. gloryfromheaven says: May 1, 2013 9:50 PM

    Wait, where’s Tebow!?!? Ahhh, I need to know what’s happening to Tebow ahhh!!

  3. mazblast says: May 1, 2013 9:50 PM

    “If it’s this year, it’s this year. If it’s next year, it’s next year.”

    Words of true wisdom. If that’s his idea of insight, my sympathies to Chargers fans.

  4. mikebyrne1502 says: May 1, 2013 9:51 PM

    We’ll see….

    I mean, what do you have to lose? If your going to play him and start him, let him try and hold his own. If he messes up so what? Does anyone think were going to win a SB with so many holes? I say let the kid go through his bumps and bruises…

    And if he’s really horrible well then at least we know in the first year.

  5. rajbais says: May 1, 2013 9:52 PM

    Mayock is growing on Telesco.

  6. theytukrjobs says: May 1, 2013 10:08 PM

    Good fit. There is a Polynesian community in San Diego which will help him fit in. While everyone talked about his ability as a 4-3 middle linebacker, he’s probably better off as ILB in a more complex 3-4 where his football instincts and reduced area of responsibility will cover his lack of pure speed.

    The only drawback of playing the 3-4 is that some knock his ability to get off blocks which is more important in a 3-4 than when you play the 4-3 behind two tackles.

  7. melkipershero says: May 1, 2013 10:24 PM

    He cannot cover. 7 ints are a fluke. He wont play 3 downs in his entire career.

  8. ambitoos says: May 1, 2013 10:25 PM

    Jr Te’o’s got some big shoes to fill. I hope he can do it.

  9. nzaz says: May 1, 2013 10:26 PM

    The fact that he’ll be next to Butler and Ingram will help ease him into pass coverage without asking the world of him. You don’t get 7ints playing at Notre Dame and not have decent ball awareness and coverage ability. I know a lot of people feel the need to sell this pick for the Chargers but the fact remains before his personal life unraveled he was the best defensive player in college football last year. That doesn’t go away after one bad game.

  10. fijabbersman345 says: May 1, 2013 10:33 PM

    Hopefully Tom Telesco knows that AT LEAST 4 of those interceptions were inexplicably horrible decisions from the quarterbacks, not coverage interceptions. Like, Manti Te’o was standing in front of a receiver and the quarterback still decided to throw the ball anyways kind of bad. That, or tipped pass interceptions. Because from what I watched of Manti Te’o, I didn’t see any plays where he intercepted a ball (i.e. made a coverage play) on a pass that otherwise was a good decision/would have been on target. Am I missing something?

  11. slartibartfast4242 says: May 1, 2013 10:34 PM

    “He has an innate sense of knowing where people are coming from…”

    Sure… he just didn’t see Lennay coming

  12. lgbarn says: May 1, 2013 10:55 PM

    Let’s see how he feels after Manti gets trucked by a RB with ability not those ND cupcakes

  13. ozymandias121 says: May 1, 2013 10:58 PM

    His media coverage ability is off the charts!!!

  14. beauregard says: May 1, 2013 11:03 PM

    Being drafted by the Chargers is the second worst prank ever played on this kid.

  15. diesel23 says: May 1, 2013 11:14 PM

    Is he also a fan of his girlfriend?

  16. jetsnlakers says: May 1, 2013 11:48 PM

    Madden 25 better give him the lowest awareness rating in the game ;)

    If vocal gender discernment was a rating he should probably be last in that too

  17. 1oldpro says: May 2, 2013 12:02 AM

    He will be able to cover an imaginary tight end just fine.
    Now if they came from Alabama, all bets are off.

  18. bigj7769 says: May 2, 2013 12:09 AM

    The kid can’t tell the difference between a man and woman’s voice on the phone, it was the biggest joke ever pulled, but wait, he has the ability to decipher and read defenses at the next level? I’ll believe it when I see it. Haha

  19. pandebailey says: May 2, 2013 12:23 AM

    Te’o’s 7 INT’s remind me a lot of Tebow’s 7 wins with the Bronco’s……simply amazing for people who don’t know football or just read the paper, but not so great when you watch the tapes. QB’s seem to have a special urge to throw right at Te’o, chest high – all he did was catch.

    Did he slide or drop or shift in coverage and show an amazing instinct to make the INT’s happen? Not really…..for most of his 7, he just shuffled 2-3 feet and waited for the ball to be thrown right at him with no receiver in sight. Try that in the NFL and he’ll be waiting a long time for his first INT.

  20. samquix says: May 2, 2013 12:32 AM

    Manti could have mild success as a rookie. The 2 stars on SD’s D are Butler & Weddle. Both should be able to cover up for most mistakes made by Te’o. The Key is pressure…will that young line SD has w/ Reyes and Leigut be able to get pressure? It’d be nice if Ingram actually performed on D this year.

  21. wadinmypants says: May 2, 2013 12:56 AM

    That’s it Telesco, keep on trying to convince yourself you didn’t trade up to draft a turd. Te’o’s going to be a bust. People with selfish motives who fabricate giant lie stories to win a Hesiman don’t make it in the NFL. I’d say teo’s out of the league by 2016.

  22. greenmeattruck says: May 2, 2013 1:12 AM

    A man who runs a 4.8-40 being used as a 3-down linebacker?! Good luck w/that. One thing is for sure, the safety will be the leading tackler in that defense.

  23. vaughnjoe says: May 2, 2013 1:23 AM

    Make us forget that foolishness Manti. Better see you with a female in the next few months. This is San Diego after all. Dont be a “domer”

  24. brassknuckles47 says: May 2, 2013 8:26 AM

    How does ‘Tom Terrific’ explain the seven times Te’o got bulldozed over against Ala.? Hard to intercept passes when you are on your back.

  25. tombradystolemyuggs says: May 2, 2013 8:50 AM

    I know someone whoes girlfriend looks like Manti Te’o’s

  26. ripseau says: May 2, 2013 12:05 PM

    U guys don’t know defenses do you. Manti never covered anyone, he covered areas. They play zone at ND. can’t knock him for reading qbs eyes or routes. 7ints aren’t an accident

  27. joetoronto says: May 3, 2013 4:37 AM

    It’s a good thing they don’t play any Man defense in the NFL.

    Wait, what?

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