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Breaking Down the Bolts: Linebackers

LB Matt Wilhelm (Doug Pensinger/Getty)

The Chargers return all four starting linebackers, although Stephen Cooper will miss the first four games after testing positive for a banned substance. The Chargers have ample depth ready to step in, including free-agent acquisition Derek Smith and second-year 'backer Anthony Waters. On the outside, Jyles Tucker is coming on strong.

Projected Starters The Chargers snagged 10-year veteran Derek Smith after the San Francisco 49ers released him earlier this offseason. With nine 100-tackle seasons under his belt, the Bolts are confident Smith can fill in for Stephen Cooper early in the season, both as a starter and defensive signal caller. LB Matt Wilhelm anticipates standing beside Smith amid the inside. Reporting 9... Recommended Stories