Jerimiah Wurzbacher (6-foot-5, 224 pounds) is an all-around tight end who can contribute in many ways. He is a smooth receiver who runs good routes, catching 25 passes for 388 yards and five touchdowns last season. And although he is not an elite blocker, he gives a good effort and has the frame to add more bulk and strength. He also has the ability to long snap, which makes for a nice insurance policy.
The Chargers, obviously, were not sold. The Bolts released Wurzbacher last week, despite the fact it left the team relatively thin at tight end. With Antonio Gates being cautious with his ankle, the team will go through many OTAs with three tight ends: Brandon Manumaleuna, Kris Wilson and undrafted rookie Kory Sperry.
SDBoltReport.com's Samantha Fillerup talked to Wurzbacher's offensive coordinator at North Dakota State, Brent Vigen, to find out what the Chargers will be missing.
Samantha Fillerup: What kind of work ethic does Wurzbacher have?
Brent Vigen: Jerimiah is a hard worker. I think most of the players we get up this way are [hard workers] by nature. He has some real God-given talent, so he has really worked himself into the guy that was signed by an NFL team. A couple of years ago people might have thought that was a little farfetched, but he worked real hard to get to that point.
SF: What kind of character did he bring to your locker room?
Wurzbacher could have given depth behind David Binn, 37.
BV: He is a very outgoing, fun guy. He is the type of guy that can get along with all types of people.
SF: What is the best part of his game?
BV: I think he really developed into a very reliable guy. We ask our tight ends to block quite a bit and he was very effective blocking. He was also one of our better weapons in the passing game, too. I think he just became a very well rounded guy. He long snapped for us a little bit and I know that's something that really intrigued the Chargers, too, that he had long snapped.
SF: What is his attitude like on the field?
BV: He is a pretty excitable guy. I think he is the type that will get charged up when he makes a play and cheer for teammates and that type of thing. I think he is a pretty tenacious guy, as well.
SF: Is there a player in the NFL that he reminds you of in the way he plays?
BV: I certainly can't say I watch a ton of NFL football with our schedule. That is a tough question; there is such a wide variety of tight ends. Some are your pass-catching guys, your elite guys can do it all on an elite level. He's probably compared to some guy that is a second- or third-string guy that no one knows, and I don't know either. I think that would be the best comparison.
SF: What preparations did he make in college that will help him the NFL?
BV: I think the way we utilize [tight ends] -- we ask them to do a lot of things. It's not like he's a type-cast tight end that is just a guy that can block or run around and catch balls. He's effective in both areas and I know he graduated early in December and worked his tail off between the end of the season and the NFL Draft to prepare. He's got a lot of God-given ability, a good frame and -- given the right opportunity -- I think he could excel.
SF: What part of his game can he improve upon?
BV: For him to make it, I think he has to do the things well that he has done. I know the long snapping piece will be a big part of that. Anytime you are trying to make it as a second- or third-string guy, you have to be good at as many things as you can and I think that certainly his blocking and route running were effective, but they could improve. His ability to lend something to special teams, we didn't ask him to do a lot there, but at that next level where you are going to be a backup, that is a key element, so I know he'd have to improve there, too.
SF: He played in all 33 games over the last three seasons. How big a role will that durability play in his NFL career?
BV: He started the last three seasons for us. He was a third-string to two seniors his freshman year. He long snapped for us that year, so he didn't see a lot of regular time, but he started for three years. He's really durable and a guy we could count on every Saturday to come out and make plays and that would be a position we didn't need to worry about much.
Lightning Quick: For an update from Wurzbacher's agent, Chris Murray, click here.