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Chargers by the (Jersey) Numbers: #56


Ty Allert, ILB

Chip Banks, OLB

Bob Bruggers, LB

Larry Evans, LB

Fred Forsberg, LB

Vince Osby, LB

Orlando Ruff, LB

Bob Rush, C

Patrick Sapp, LB

Galand Thaxton, LB


56 comes down to a two players with some interesting similarities.

  • Both linebackers
  • Both started their Charger careers strong, being named to Pro Bowls their first 3 years in San Diego. 
  • And they both made playoff appearances in 2 of those 3 years.
  • Then injuries started to take their toll and their playtime and skill diminished.  One missed an entire season; the other missed all but one game. 
  • But for one, the future is still being written – even though it’s likely to be written with another team.

The Runner Up

Merriman_medium (I think he's pissed about being chosen runner-up)

Shawne Merriman, LB


The Winner


Emil Karas, LB

So two simple questions arise:

1.                   Why not put it to a vote?

2.                   Why did I choose this way?


Well, the simple answer to number 1 is who really cares?  Because we live in the here and now, Merriman seems like a big deal.  But after next year and he becomes a former Charger – even if he goes on to greatness with another team – he basically amounts to a 3-year wonder; a guy who used ‘roids to compete; and a guy who relied a lot on downfield coverage for about ¾ of his sacks.  "Oh, look!  The quarterback’s about to run out of the pocket!  Let me fall on him!  Hey, that counts as a sack!  Yeah, I know it’s only a 2 yard loss, but it’s still a sack!"  My point is I save votes for the really important and tough ones.


And the simple answer to #2 is the overriding tiebreaker: Emil Karas won a championship.