Bingham ready for increased role

Everyone secretly wonders what would happen if the Chargers dominant nose tackle were to go down. Ryon Bingham is here to quell any fears. &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp

The Chargers drafted Ryon Bingham in 2004 in hopes that he could bolster their depth on the defensive line. He missed his rookie season with a biceps injury and spent the majority of last season on the practice squad. Heading into his third season, Bingham is healthy, motivated and prepared to contribute.

"I think I'm ready to have a great year," Bingham said. "This is my third year with the same team and the same defense, and I feel much more comfortable now." Even though he is confident in his abilities, Bingham hopes not to find himself in the starting line-up anytime soon. The man in front of him, Pro Bowler Jamal Williams, is vital to the success of the team's defense.

"Jamal Williams is an amazing player, and I think he has a long career in front of him," Bingham said. "I just hope to be a steady back-up so he feels he can come out during the game and the defense won't fall apart.

"Obviously we have different games, because he weighs 350 lbs. and I'm only 300 lbs. I just need to be as fundamentally sound as possible, because technique is what wins on the line."

Whether it is he or Williams playing the nose, Bingham believes the Chargers have a chance to be dominant on defense.

"I think we have a great defense," he said. "We had the No. 1 run defense last season. We weren't the top defense in the league, but I think we have the potential to do that this year."

Bingham is certainly doing his part to make that happen.

"I'm always working on my game," he said. "I know I've been around a few years now, but it's important I keep improving. We have some guys that have been around 10 or 12 years who are still working on their games. That's why they've been able to play so long."

The Chargers have plenty of veteran leaders such as those mentioned by Bingham - Williams, Randall Godfrey and Keenan McCardell come to mind. However, if they are to make a legitimate Super Bowl run, their first-time starting quarterback will have to lead them there.

"People are saying all sorts of stuff about our quarterback situation," Bingham said. "Philip Rivers is a good quarterback. He was taken in the first round for a reason – he can play football. He just needs to be who he is. He's a different player than Drew Brees, but he's a good player, too. Just look at what the Steelers did with Ben Roethlisberger, and he was drafted the same year as Philip."

Even with Rivers at the helm, Bingham said he is confident the Chargers can make a run towards Super Bowl XLI. With 2006 expected to be his first season as a full-time member of the active roster, he would be elated just to be a part of it.

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