We all know that Shaun Phillips will be starting at one OLB spot for the Chargers, but the other spot is up for grabs. The Chargers already have former 1st round pick Larry English rostered and signed through 2014. They also re-signed Antwan Barnes to a two-year deal this week. Now in a move to provide even more depth they've brought in one of defensive coordinator Greg Manusky's former charges in LaBoy.
Travis LaBoy was a 2nd round pick by the Tennesse Titans and was brought in to replace the pass rushing void created by Jevon Kearse's departure to Philadelphia. The Titans also drafted another 2nd round DE in Antwan Odom and had the once promising Carlos Hall as another pass rusher. LaBoy only got the starting nod twice that year and neither he or Odom picked up that many sacks. The next year the Titans brought in Kyle Vanden Bosch to replace Hall. LaBoy then spent the next couple of years trading off with Odom as the starter with neither ever cracking double digits in sacks like Vanden Bosch, but not exactly embarrassing themselves either.
After picking up 20 sacks in 4 years in Tennessee, LaBoy caught on with the Arizona Cardinals inking a five-year $22 million contract with $7.5 million guaranteed. He got 4 sacks with the Cardinals before a biceps injury ended his season and led to his subsequent release in April 2009. He then missed the next season because a 4 game suspension and slow recoveries to his biceps and ankle injuries (he had surgeries on both). In 2010, Greg Manusky found him and brought him to be a reserve pass rusher for the 49ers. He had a season typical with the rest of his career: 5 sacks, 21 tackles and zero starts.
So where does he fit in with the Chargers? He'll get all of training camp to show that he's capable of being a starter in the league. Unlike Antwan Applewhite (who was released) or Larry English he's an experienced and somewhat accomplished pass rusher in this league not unlike Antwan Barnes (For those counting, that's now 3 Antwans mentioned in this article). He's not going to be billed as the savior of the pass rush and hopefully the Chargers aren't paying an arm and a leg for his services, but he's a capable player who upgrades the depth at OLB.