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Baxter & Molk battle for backup spot

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Blue Bolt, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Chargers' Baxter, Molk center of competition
    Written by Michael Gehlken

    Dave Molk hasn't had to fight for reps since he was a redshirt freshman at Michigan.

    His competition was an older, fourth-year player.

    So, this is somewhat familiar territory.

    If the rookie seventh-round pick is to crack the Chargers roster out of training camp, he'll likely have to beat out a more experienced player again. This time, it's second-year center Colin Baxter, who's in his second camp with the team and made a pair of starts in 2011 with the Jets.

    The two have split second-team reps behind starter Nick Hardwick through the start of camp.

    "It's been a long time," Molk said of having to share snaps. "It's weird not having complete control. I've been 'that guy' for so long. You've just got to climb that ladder again."

    Baxter, 24, is about 16 months Molk's elder.

    He entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Arizona, where he made 49 consecutive starts, the final 38 of which came at center.

    Due to last year's lockout, he's been in a similar position as Molk this offseason, experiencing his first dose of the Chargers' workout program, including organized team activities and minicamp.

    “It's been great,” Baxter said. “You get to hit the finer points and details. Last year, it was kind of like, 'Here's the playbook. Learn it. You're going tomorrow.' … I think I'm starting to play with a lot better leverage consistently … and am obviously learning the system and getting more comfortable with it.”

    Molk was, like Baxter, a highly productive college player.

    He started 41 career games for Michigan and won the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's most outstanding senior, as a senior.

    Between Baxter and Molk, Hardwick said he doesn't have a horse in the race.

    "The horse is the team," Hardwick said. "Make it right. Get it right. ... It's certainly not my job to evaluate talent but they're working their (tails) off. Both of them are incredibly focused in meetings and at practice, finding ways to correct errors from the day before and continuing to improve.”

    So far, the competing centers have seen a 50/50 split in snaps with the second team.

    That, coach Norv Turner said, won't be the arrangement for long.

    “One of those guys is going to start getting more reps,” Turner said Sunday. “I don't want to make a decision (yet). We've had two days in pads. We'll probably go a couple more days in pads, and then we'll start working one of them a little more than the other."
  2. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    If there's any way to keep both I gotta imagine the team will. They're too good to pass up unless one just bombs in TC/PS
  3. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Aug 12, 2006
    U think?. Molk seems to bring more upside. Baxter might be a Jason Ball. Decent but that is all. I guess if Molk loses he goes to PS anyway right?, where he'll no doubt be poached off of by the Pats.

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