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

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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.”

28 responses to “Tom Telesco a fan of Manti Te’o’s coverage ability

  1. “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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

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

  8. 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

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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”

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Wait, what?

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