Weddle displayed his ability to be a complete defender. His first tackle came against Brian Leonard, a 226-lb. north-and-south runner. Weddle attacked the line aggressively, broke down and tackled Leonard for a two-yard gain.
He also showed his ability to excel in coverage. With the Rams facing second-and-goal at the San Diego 7-yard line, Weddle went one-on-one with fellow rookie Derek Stanley. Weddle ran stride for stride with Stanley, trailing him across the backline before leaping to break up a Gus Frerotte offering.
The ever-versatile Weddle impacted the game in a number of other ways. He took down the shifty Marques Hagans on the first punt of the second half, limiting Hagans to 8 yards following a 56-yard punt by Mike Scifres.
Weddle made his mark on the return team, too. He fielded a Freddie Capshaw punt in the third quarter, falling on the ball amidst a crowd to ensure none of his teammates were blocked into it. That kind of heady play is rare in a rookie.
Just to make sure he had his fingerprints all over the game, he served as the holder on a successful fourth-quarter extra point attempt. The idea of Weddle supplanting Scifres as the holder is intriguing, as Weddle -- who played some running back in college -- gives the team a lot of options as far as fakes and trick plays are concerned.
It was almost a perfect night for Weddle, were it not for strong performances by his top competition. Clinton Hart intercepted Marc Bulger in the end zone, while Bhawoh Jue delivered a crushing blow to Drew Bennett.
Nonetheless, Weddle has the best chance to be in the starting line-up on opening day. He has the range, awareness and athleticism to be a difference-maker in a secondary in dire need of exactly that.