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Anthony Lynn: We Were Lucky to Get Jahleel Addae Back

The Chargers new Head Coach talks about the Chargers safety.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Lynn spoke to at the NFL Spring Meeting and had some kind words to say about Jahleel Addae. Most of it is standard 'coach speech' however, so I’m going to put my observations beside his quotes.

"We were lucky to get him back and sign him as a free agent."

I think paying Addae $10m guaranteed takes 'luck' out of the equation, but anyway. I doubt a coach would consider himself lucky to be lumbered with a player he doesn't actually value, so it sounds like Lynn is very happy to have Addae back here next year as a starting safety.

"He’s a tone setter in the back end. He has all the intangibles of a Charger."

This means absolutely nothing. Even as a Jahleel Addae fan, I can't get on board with calling him a tone-setter - unless Lynn wants his secondary to be known for leading with their helmets when going for tackles.

The second part of that statement is... just confusing. What are the intangibles of a Charger? Missing half of the season through injury? Being a danger to yourself and others on the field? Winning 9 games over two years? It's a strange, strange quote. Addae is a solid player, but he's not the first person I'd point at to define what a 'Charger' looks like.

"He was a priority for us."

A priority who they were lucky to bring back? It could just be standard coach talk, but I get the impression that Lynn is genuinely excited to have Addae on the roster as a starting safety. That's fine with me.

"He can play deep. He can play close to the line of scrimmage... He won’t just play in the back, and I think he will benefit from that."

Uh oh.

Jahleel Addae can play deep, but that's not where his strengths lie. He's probably good enough deep to avoid being called a liability there, but when you're paying someone more than $5m a year, you're probably hoping for better play than 'good enough to not be a liability.'

This really confuses me about Addae and the Chargers. Last year, Pagano used Lowery and Addae interchangeably, with both seeing plenty of time both as the box safety and playing deep. Lowery was pretty 'meh' in both roles, whereas Addae was 'meh' as the deep safety but was pretty successful in the box.

'He won't just play in the back' means that he won't be used solely as the deep safety - but that’s never been the way he's been used anyway. It looks like the Chargers are going to continue mixing up the way they use Addae, unfortunately.

Here's the thing: Whenever any coach gives a quote on Addae, they without fail mention his physicality - which is a vital trait for a box safety - but they never talk about his coverage, which is the vital trait for a deep safety and which Addae is merely average at. When you clearly know where his strengths lie, why put him in a position that you know he doesn't suit as well?

"He is physical! He brings it every day. If you watch the tape, he brings it every snap. So I like him a lot. His leadership (and) how he plays the game; he’s an impact hitter. People will think twice going over the middle."

Told you.

It's true that Addae doesn't take plays off (until he gets stretchered off after injuring himself, at which point he takes every play off for about six weeks).

It's also true that Addae is a leader amongst the DB group. He's often the one 'hyping up' his team-mates, and even whilst injured he still found his way onto the TV Cameras when team-mates would run over to him to celebrate with.

I hate - HATE - the rest of that quote. Addae will make people think twice about going over the middle, sure - because they have to worry about the possibility that he lays into their head and gives them a permanent brain issue.

Addae has been in the NFL for four seasons, yet he still hasn't been taught to not use his damn head when hitting people. It's a lot easier to be an 'impact hitter' when you're spearing someone in the head.

I hope I'm wrong, but from the sounds of that quote, it doesn't seem like Lynn wants Addae to change anything about the way he hits people. That means letting Addae do more damage to his brain. That means letting Addae do more damage to the brain of an opponent. That means running the risk that something like this may happen again.

I like you, Anthony Lynn. But I'll like you a lot more if you hold Jahleel Addae accountable for his recklessness and teach him that you can hit somebody hard without using your head as a weapon.