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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Bill Polian likes Manti Te'o fit in San Diego

By Bill Williamson

Tom Telesco worked under Bill Polian for years.

Polian, now an ESPN analyst, kept close tabs on Telesco’s first draft as the general manager of the San Diego Chargers.

Te'o
Polian applauded the most talked about choice of Telesco’s -- the selection of Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te'o.

Polian was a big fan of Te’o before details of the hoax involving a fake dead girlfriend emerged in January. After the hoax, Polian has supported Te’o as a player and as a person. Polian said if he were still running an NFL team, he would have done the same thing Telesco did. He moved up from No. 45 in a trade with Arizona (the Chargers surrendered a fourth-round pick to move up seven slots) and took Te’o.

“Yes, I would have done the same thing,” Polian said. “He’s a good player.”

Te’o said he thinks the San Diego-Te’o pairing is a good fit in all aspects. Most importantly, he thinks the team will put Te’o in the right spot scheme-wise to succeed. The Chargers plan on using Te’o as a weakside inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Polian said Te’o’s weakness heading into the NFL is taking on blocks. In his position he will not have to take on huge guards.

“Manti will be put in position to do what he does best and that's diagnosing plays, which he is very good and using his quickness,” Polian said. “If I were the Chargers I wouldn’t have any qualms about this pick.”