Last season wasn't one worth remembering for most aspects of the San Diego Chargers, but it was for Eric Weddle. 2012 was the finest season of his already very impressive career. Over at Pro Football Focus, they're looking back over their first five years of grading players on film and today they gave us their Page of Fame: Safeties. In a surprise to nobody that has been paying attention, Weddle's 2012 graded out as the best by any safety since 2008 when PFF started grading. Khaled Elsayed writes:
1. Eric Weddle, SD, 2012: +27.8
Pass Rush: +1.7, Coverage: +14.9, Run Defense: +9.5, Penalties: +1.6
Another big year from Weddle who used 2012 to establish himself as the league's top all-around safety. Capable of playing the single high role, dropping down into the box or matching up with a tight end, he does more than any stat can state. Grading positively in every area on his way to the top spot in our safety rankings is not easily done.
There are still some Chargers fans that are in denial regarding the greatness of Eric Weddle. Hopefully the ever-increasing abundance of praise from national outlets like Pro Football Focus will help to convince these "fans." Also, in case you think 2012 was some sort of outlier, Weddle's 2011 and 2010 also made the top 15 (top 19 if you include Nick Collins for some reason) safety seasons list.
Pro Football Focus isn't the only national outlet to understand what Weddle's done the last three years. He has made the All Pro team each year as well. That he has only made one Pro Bowl during that stretch says more about the idiocy of the Pro Bowl selection process than it does about Weddle. He's come a long, long way from backing up Clinton Hart.