FS Eric Weddle has earned the first Pro Bowl selection of his five-year career.
Weddle so far has lived up to the long-term deal he signed with San Diego before the season, making an NFL-best seven interceptions. I spoke with Weddle earlier this afternoon about the honor.
What are your thoughts on making the first Pro Bowl of your career?
Weddle: It’s pretty amazing and exciting. The season we’ve had puts a little damper on it, but I put a lot into it and worked my tail off this offseason to make that next jump and become an elite player in this league. I think I’ve done that. Now it’s all about consistency and continuing a high level of play and help my team win.
When you signed your new five-year contract July 30, you said you were anxious to earn what you got. With your seven interceptions this year and continuing to be solid in run support, do you feel like you’ve done that so far?
Weddle: I still feel there’s room for improvement and there’s plays out there that, as I continue to play, more plays will happen for me. Bigger plays. But it’s all about consistency and being a team player, being a leader, and playing my position the way it’s supposed to be played. I’m never satisfied. Hopefully there’s many more to come, but I’ll definitely take wins over this any day of the week.
As your career has progressed, have you noticed quarterbacks avoiding you more often?
Weddle: Oh, definitely. Throughout the season there’s not many times where quarterbacks have come at me or within my area. It’s a credit to being a smart player and understanding that if you mess up I’ll make you pay for it. It’s frustrating at times. You feel like you’re just out there and you’re not helping your team, but you are. You’ve just got to help them out in different ways. As years have gone on (it happens) more and more, but when they do try you’ve got to make them pay.
You’re representing the franchise along with the two players probably most synonymous with the Chargers, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. What does it mean to you to keep that sort of company?
Weddle: It’s big. As a player, you’re always trying to gain and earn the respect of your peers. I wouldn’t say this solidifies it or announces how good I am, but being recognized as one of the better players and one of the great players on this team and in the league is important because you’re always trying to do the best. You’re always trying to show that you’re a great player in this league. I’ll continue to try and prove it and try to continue to be the best. It makes you want to stay at that high level.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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