Pullard making the most of his opportunities with Chargers following surprising release from Jaguars

Jaguars DC Todd Wash talks about facing Chargers QB Philip Rivers

There are plenty of cliches about former disregarded employees performing better with a change of scenery.

All of those adages seem to apply to former Jaguars linebacker Hayes Pullard, who has found lightning in a bottle in Los Angeles. 

DOWNLOAD: The free First Coast Football App for stats, scores, analysis, stories and more

After being cut by the Jaguars in September, Pullard was claimed off waivers by the Chargers.

It was a strong spot for the Los Angeles native, as his new defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, served as his head coach during his first two seasons in the league.

His addition to the Los Angeles lineup came at the right time too. While Pullard was buried on the depth chart in Jacksonville, he was immediately put in a key role with Los Angeles after the Chargers placed starting middle linebacker Denzel Perryman on injured reserve.

The third-year player has started five games this season, producing 59 tackles, which leads the entire Chargers defense. He also collected his first career interception in a Week 6 win over the Oakland Raiders.

While Perryman is set to return to the lineup this week, Pullard has played so well in relief that he is still likely to receive significant playing time moving forward.

Set to face off against his former team for the first time, Pullard will look to curb the NFL's top rushing offense. Pullard has played well against the run this season and produced three tackles for loss in seven games.

It was a surprising move when Pullard was cut by the Jaguars before Week 1. The puzzling nature of his release has only become more confusing due to his success with the Chargers.

"It's always tough when you have good players and you have to make decisions," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said.

"He did a hell of a job when he was here. Good kid, played well. I have a past with him because when I was at Syracuse, he was at USC playing linebacker. He was a starter there. We understand and know that and appreciate everything he did here. We know he's a good football player and he's playing well."

Pullard is the lone former Jaguars player on the Chargers' defense. Bradley didn't bring in any familiar faces during the offseason.

The pair will look to add to the Chargers' six-game winning streak over the Jaguars Sunday.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment