SAN DIEGO – Brandon Flowers isn’t the type of player who needs inspiration to produce on the field.
The former Virginia Tech standout is self-motivated, emerging as a leader on defense for the San Diego Chargers in his first season with the organization last year. And he produced, leading the team in interceptions (three) and pass break-ups (11).
But during the offseason, Flowers became a father to his first child, daughter Brynn Tylar Flowers, on Feb. 6. And that moment provided added fuel for the feisty cornerback.
“It makes your outlook on life a little different,” Flowers said. “When you were playing before, you were playing for your mom, your dad and yourself. But now I have someone looking at me I have to be a role model for. Even though kids in my community look up to me as a role model, now I have someone in my household, so it changes things as a whole.
“There’s nothing better than I can ask for on this earth than having my daughter.”
Looking to create stability for his family, Flowers decided to remain with the Chargers in free agency, signing a four-year, $36.4 million deal that included nearly $20.5 million in guarantees this offseason.
With defensive captain Eric Weddle not showing up to voluntary workouts this week because he’s unhappy with his contract situation, Flowers will have to assume even more of a leadership role with San Diego’s young secondary.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can play a lot of different parts in this defense,” Flowers said. “And it can create havoc for offenses. I would love to just have Jason Verrett out there the whole season with me, because this guy is electric. And you need a guy like that on the field. And nothing is going to get him more prepared and get him better as a player than experience.”
With a Pro Bowl free safety in Weddle, along with the additions of nickel cornerback Patrick Robinson and hard-hitting safety Jimmy Wilson, Flowers believes the Chargers have the potential to have one of the best defensive backfields in the NFL.
But in order to do that, everyone has to stay healthy. Flowers, Verrett, Shareece Wright and Jahleel Addae missed a combined 19 games last season, which affected the way defensive coordinator John Pagano’s called plays on game days.
“No one was healthy at the same time,” Flowers said. “I just felt like it kind of handicapped our team. I feel like one of our strengths on our team was our secondary. I felt like they need us all on the field all at the same time. We’ve definitely been trying to take care of our bodies, doing the extra stuff it takes to make sure we can play 16 games this year.”