Chargers scouting for more sacks in 2007

San Diego led the league in sacks in 2006, totaling 61 on the season. When is it enough – 61 sounds pretty good from here. With a new defensive coordinator in tow, the Chargers preference is to add more talent to the arsenal – someone who fits in the Ted Cottrell mold. They have another sack machine in mind when the NFL Draft rolls around in late April, one they have met with already.

The team's top three sackers missed a combined 12 games last season, so the Chargers could be looking to add another sprinkle of talent to the mix.

That could lead to the selection of Victor Abiamiri, a dynamic defensive end from Notre Dame, and a player that San Diego met with while down in Mobile, Alabama during Senior Bowl week.

Team success will always boost an individual's stock. Players from winning squads are always viewed in a more favorable light, as there is no trait more desirable than the ability to will one's team to victory. That is one reason why Abiamiri is such a hot prospect - his 10.5 sacks stood out all the more on a 10-3 Notre Dame team.

Abiamiri was a big part of the Fighting Irish's success. He became a full-time starter during his junior year in 2005 and was a difference maker from that point on. During his final two collegiate seasons, he totaled 91 tackles, 18.5 sacks and 30 tackles for a loss. He was named Notre Dame's lineman of the year after each of those seasons.

His impact was also felt in the locker room; in 2006 he was one of 12 team members selected to the Leadership Committee by a vote of his teammates.

After proving to be a dominant collegian, Abiamiri is now out to prove he can maintain that success on the professional level.

"I really want to go out there and establish myself as one of the best defensive ends in the country and show all the coaches what I can do," said Abiamiri.

Abiamiri (6-foot-4, 271-pounds) showcased his athleticism while in Mobile. He displayed the ability to get after the quarterback, dipping his shoulder and using an array of counter moves. Although he had some trouble getting off his blocks against the run, he is a physically imposing specimen who may be able to play some linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

That versatility may improve his chances of becoming a Charger. The more they can do, the longer they will be in the league is a basic fundamental that cannot be ignored. Abiamiri could provide depth at both defensive end and linebacker until establishing himself at either position.

Abiamiri credits his strong performance during Senior Bowl week to the coaching he received from the Buccaneers' staff.

"They were really helpful in teaching me the techniques and I was just trying to be like a sponge. - trying to learn as much as I could. You can always keep improving on fundamentals and techniques," Abiamiri said.

The Chargers were just one of several NFL teams that took notice of his strong play. The Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks were among those that made a point of meeting with him one-on-one while in Mobile.

Never one to lack confidence, Abiamiri believes he could help improve any of the aforementioned clubs.

"They'll get a player that will help them win football games, that's the bottom line. I'm very sure that I can help any football team win football games and that's what it's all about in the NFL."

He can get after the quarterback, disrupt plays in the backfield and make plays in space. But Abiamiri's ability to lead his team to wins is what is sure to make him a high draft pick. He may not be able to improve San Diego's 14-2 record from 2006, but if his winning ways translate into postseason play, he may be the best pick the Chargers could make.


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