One of the main talking points of the offseason has been the depth at ILB. Earlier in the offseason the Chargers signed veteran and former All-Pro Takeo Spikes to start at one spot, but were left with two young players in Donald Butler and Jonas Mouton for the other spot. All the other ILBs on the roster came into the league as undrafted free agents last year or this year. That has all changed now that the Chargers have brought back one of their defensive leaders on one year contract.
The Chargers played a waiting game with Stephen Cooper much like they did with Malcom Floyd. The concern with Cooper is his age and his health. Over the last couple of years Cooper has either missed significant time or had to play injured. That sort of track record left the Chargers in a position where they were only willing to bring Coop back on a team-friendly one year deal deal. Now he can come in and either prove that he's capable of still starting in the NFL or provide depth and mentoring to the young ILBs that are the future of the Bolt defense.
Welcome back, Stephen Cooper. Here's hoping the Chargers get to the playoffs and you can torment Peyton Manning once again.
#54 / Linebacker / San Diego Chargers
June 19, 1979