Chargers Draft Prospectus XIII

San Diego Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer spent some time three weeks ago with this prospect and sees something special in him. A local kid and nephew to a certain NFL linebacker who is now getting national attention after some stellar play.

It would be fitting if Junior Seau leaves the Chargers that Pisa Tinoisamoa takes his roster spot. Tinoisamoa is a Samoan, same as Seau, and is also a local product from Vista. Oh did we mention Junior Seau is that uncle we spoke of earlier?

When asked who his favorite player was and who he played like, his response was, "Well, I really don't have a favorite NFL team and I don't compare myself to anyone, but I like Donnie Edwards play...yeah he's great."

Tinoisamoa recorded 289 tackles (210 solos) with 15.5 sacks for minus 85 yards, 39 stops for losses of 140 yards, 11 quarterback pressures, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, nine pass deflections, two interceptions and a blocked field goal while starting 27 of 35 games.

Pisa Tinoisamoa
Ht: 6' Wt: 233
40 Times: 4.65/4.69
Bench Press: 19 reps
Bench Press (high): 395 pounds
Vertical Jump: 31"

"Explosive, hard working linebacker best making plays up the field. Agile, redirects nicely to the action and flows to the ball. Hard hitting, flashes on the scene and throws his body around the action. Fluid scraping laterally, stays on his feet and makes plays in every direction. Gets depth on his pass drops and covers a good amount of area." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Matt Gambill of All-Pro Scouting had this to say, "Very good read and reaction player who is by far the best coverage LB in the draft. Great feet and has very good instincts. Solid second rounder on my board."

Pisa is a well-built athlete who reacts quickly in run support, has a forceful hand punch, using his arms properly to keep blockers off his feet. He is a decisive diagnostician who accelerates quickly to the run alleys, shows instincts zeroing in on the ball and mirrors receivers moves in the short area and refuses to allow any underneath cushion. Pisa settles in nicely dropping off in the zone, handling the switch-off with ease, springs into his tackles and is very active staying in the receiver's face.

Pisa has the range and catch-up speed to quickly recover when beaten on deep routes, adjusts smoothly to the ball in flight and is aware of receivers in his area breaking sharply out of his backpedal.

Pisa is also a solid collision tackler who has classic wrap-up technique, has experience at middle and weakside outside linebacker and is a very fluid open field runner who simply loves to hit.

"He's got great instinctive skills and he's got another gear," Hawaii Head Coach June Jones said. "He'll make it (in the NFL). He's smart, he can run and he loves football."

Tinoisamoa spent four months in prison during his senior year at Vista (Calif.) High School for felony assault convictions.

"It took me to get locked up before I learned my lesson," he said.

He was arrested twice, once for spray-painting graffiti on public property and another time for getting into a fight while on probation back in high school but has really turned his image around.

"I'm growing up. My biggest problem was my immaturity," Tinoisamoa said putting the past to rest.

Pisa was in town yesterday to visit with the Chargers coaches and staff. He will also visit Miami and Kansas City. "He will not go further than Kansas City or Miami (in the second round)," agent Dave Caravantes said. "I'm sure he'll be a top-50 pick."

Pisa told North County Times senior writer Steve Scholfield yesterday, "Tell Mr. Butler I want to play here."

Uncertainty remains in San Diego, there are other pressing needs that have to be addressed at some point and that could push Tinoisamoa off the radar, especially in round two. The Chargers have three positions that are priorities, DT, CB and OT.

Does this mean a linebacker will not be drafted…not quite. Depends on the how the board pans out. The Chargers Drafting philosophy still looks for the best available athlete. They hope that it is in there biggest areas of need. Still the uncertainty remains. If Pisa drops to round three he is certain to become a Bolt and follow in his uncles footsteps. Round two however is littered with talent at need positions. Though the signs point to a serious interest by the Chargers, it may be window dressing in the end.

Special thanks to Tony Pauline who contributed to this report.

Denis Savage can be reached at or via the following link: Denis Savage

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