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Getting to know Nick Vigil with The Athletic’s Joe Goodberry

Educate yourself on L.A.’s newest linebacker

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Like I did with the Linval Joseph signing, I wanted to reach out and talk to someone who has covered Nick Vigil through the first four years of his career in order for fans to paint a clearer picture of the Chargers newest linebacker.

The Bolts signed the former third-round pick out of Utah State to seemingly build some depth and potentially replace a piece of the special teams production they let walk as Nick Dzubnar (Titans), Adrian Phillips (Patriots), and Jatavis Brown (Eagles) all signed elsewhere.

A big thank you to Joe Goodberry of The Athletic Cincinnati for agreeing to answers some questions about LA’s newest defender. Let’s do it.

1.) For those who haven’t watched a ton of Bengals games, what kind of player are the Chargers getting in Nick Vigil?

Vigil is finesse linebacker with some agility and athleticism to his game. He’s been their best cover LB for the three years he started, but struggled when he had to deal with blockers and continuous change at defensive coordinator.

2.) 2019 was the first season that Vigil started all 16 games. How would you grade his overall performance and what did he do best? Worst?

2019 was Vigil’s clearest year in terms of development. As the defense was struggling to start the year, so did he, but halfway through the season, the team released Preston Brown, Vigil went to the team and got some of the checks and calls organized and he became a leader on defense. From that point, they played much better and he looked faster and more decisive; especially in coverage.

3.) If you were the Chargers defensive coordinator, how would you utilize Vigil to get the most out of his skill-set?

I’d actually use him as a weak-side linebacker where I could keep him clean and let him chase. It’s harder to do that in today’s nickel defense, so maybe he’s a rare base-only weak-side backer.

4.) Are Bengals fans upset that he signed elsewhere or were they happy to see him go?

The Bengals desperately needed linebacker help, depth and talent. We didn’t hate Nick Vigil, but he represented a tough stretch of LB play over the last few years. His missed tackles started to sour the good things he did in the eyes of many fans. Most wanted him back, but in a reduced role.

5.) What would you say is your favorite memory regarding Vigil while he was with the Bengals?

Check the game from week 14 of 2019 against the Cleveland Browns. The NFL has given everybody access to NFL Gamepasss and if you watch it, you’ll see one of the best interceptions from a linebacker. It’s very early in the game too. That’s the play I’ll remember.