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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Breaking down Merriman's loss on the field

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

I caught up with the knowledgeable Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to discuss the San Diego Chargers’ impending release of Shawne Merriman.

The Chargers are releasing the former star pass-rusher because he can’t stay healthy.

“I don’t see it as a massive loss,” Williamson said. “I’m not a big Shawne Merriman fan. I don’t think he is nearly as good of a player as he thinks he still is. Injuries have really taken a toll since 2008. He wasn’t helping that team.”

Williamson said he believes the Chargers' defense, which is ranked No. 2 in the NFL, is well coached, but it doesn’t have an anchor player. He said he thinks the Chargers will survive the loss of Merriman, because they were basically playing without him anyway. He was playing on a limited basis this season.

Williamson believes Shaun Phillips is a solid player at outside linebacker and he believes second-year player Larry English, who was drafted at No. 16 overall to eventually replace Merriman, can become a solid player.

“I don’t love their depth there,” Williamson said. “But they’ve already kind of moved on from Merriman anyway. So, I don’t expect any big changes now that he is gone for good.”