With a player like Bob Sanders, who is incredibly talented but often injured, it's tough to get a read on his strengths and weaknesses. I went digging around to try and answer the question of "If Bob Sanders stays healthy, what are his weaknesses? What are his strengths? What type of player can he be in 2011?"
I started by getting a few of my questions answered by BigBlueShoe from Stampede Blue. However, you'll find that his answers don't get us much further than where we already were in our understanding of Bob.
From looking at his injury history, it would appear that Bob's biggest issue is a bad knee (or bad knees?). True or false?
False. The biggest issues for Bob are everywhere. Knees. Biceps. Arms. Hamstrings. You name it. Bob missed pretty much all of 2009 and 2010 with torn muscles in both biceps. Before that, knee injuries. Before that, foot injuries. Bob is a great guy and plays 100% every play, but he's a Glass Joe. Sad, but true.
Outside of missing time on the field, do you think Sanders' injuries have effected his play on the field?
Well, yes. Bob's problem is he can never stay on the field. While I'm sure the biceps injuries haven't robbed him of any strength, and his speed is still top notch, it is a question of when (not if) he will get hurt in 2011.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of his game? At 5'8", does he struggle in coverage?
His weakness is his body. He simply cannot stay healthy. He can still hit like a truck and has always been a very good coverage safety. However, the way he plays is conducive to how often he is hurt. And, as we all know, an injured player is a useless player. And Bob has been injured a ton.
What, if anything, has been said about Bob in terms of his locker room presence? Is/was he a leader for the Colts defense? Has he had a history of working with and helping the young Safeties?
Absolutely Bob is a leader. However, if San Diego does indeed sign him, he won't be there as a back-up. Colts players all loved Bob, and Antoine Bethea often credits him with helping him develop into a Pro Bowler.
If you were Peyton Manning (wouldn't that be cool?) and Bob Sanders was lined up in powder-blue on the other side of the field, how would you attack him? Run at him? Force him to cover a TE or tall WR? Or would you throw away from him?
Well, I'm not Peyton Manning. So, I cannot even begin to accurately answer that. One way to attack him is to commit him down in the box, and then throw play action down the seam.
The Chargers, especially recently, have had a history of signing guys who have a hard time staying healthy on other teams (Kevin Burnett, Antonio Garay, Travis Johnson) and magically turning them into consistently-healthy players. If they do the same with Sanders, does it bring the Colts training staff into question?
The Colts training staff is already a questionable element of the team. For five straight years, this team has failed to even stay decently healthy. Every year, key people go down, and every year people in the NFL tell me, 'Someone needs to take a look at that Colts training staff.' He had 22 guys on IR last year. It's safe to say our training staff stinks or is, at best, just above mediocre. Should Bob stay healthy in San Diego, it would just be one more knock against the training staff.