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Bolts have options to replace McNeill

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 9 p.m.



    Norv Turner knows why the absence of the Chargers’ two-time Pro Bowl left tackle is a story, but he thinks it’s a bogus story.
    Here’s why some might be inclined to agree with the Chargers head coach.
    “The thing about the whole offensive line, and it doesn’t matter who’s in there, is we’ve got such good coaches, they coach the technique so specifically, that no matter who is in there they’re expected to play at a really high level,” center Nick Hardwick said. “Brandyn is no different than anybody else. When he’s in there, he’s expected to be at a high level. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He has great ability. He’s a big, strong, physical guy.”
    The question was about Brandyn Dombrowski and why it’s plausible to think he, Tyronne Green or anyone not being Marcus McNeill can be a good enough left tackle for the Chargers to be all they should be in 2010.
    Dombrowski worked two series (eight snaps) at left tackle in Saturday night’s preseason opener, then later moved to right tackle. He and Green, who replaced Dombrowski at left tackle to get some work just in case, played into the third quarter.
    There is not one person in the Chargers’ organization who doesn’t know that McNeill is the team’s best left tackle. But McNeill is not in camp and is expected to sit out a majority (and perhaps all) of the season over dissatisfaction with his contract offer.
    So, perhaps simply because they have to, the Chargers have faith where so many on the outside have none.
    “Brandyn Dombrowski, if there were a handful of guys you’d want (on your side) in a street fight, he’s one of them,” Philip Rivers said. “He’s a guy who doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he got some last year, and he’s going to fight for you like crazy. Golly, it’s not like we’re going down to (Pacific Beach) and trying to find someone to play left tackle.”
    Dombrowski does not have McNeill’s height, wingspan or quick feet. He is perhaps stronger and more physical and knows how to use his frame to his advantage.
    And while Dombrowski was undrafted in 2008, Rivers is correct to point out that the former San Diego State lineman is not coming in off a street corner.
    Dombrowski got snaps at left tackle in three games in 2009, including a key series against the Cleveland Browns and extensive work in the season finale against the Washington Redskins. He also started two games at right guard in place of the injured Louis Vasquez and six games at right tackle in place of the injured Jeromey Clary.
    A natural left guard, Dombrowski said recently he would have preferred to play left tackle over right last year.
    Nowhere is the faith that Dombrowski will be fine stronger than in the offensive line room, where coach Hal Hunter rules with a just-get-it-done mantra and the empowerment to make that happen.
    “When arguably our best player went down, were we going to toss in the towel and not try to win?” Hunter said earlier this summer in reference to the ankle surgery that kept Hardwick out of 13 games last season. “… Hey, it’s next man up. We’re going to have five guys up. Now we may have to do some things in the offense, make some adjustments to help a guy. Because to say a starter gets hurt and a backup comes in and is just as good, that just doesn’t happen very often. But you can still find a way to win with the guys that are on there.
    “And believe me, if you don’t have that attitude and you’re, ‘Oh, woe is me,’ you’re going to get your (rear end) kicked.”
    Hunter tells every starter it’s the coach’s job to help make him the best player he can possibly be. But he then turns to the backup and says it’s also his job to help that player beat out the starter.
    “Once you sit in this room, you have every right to start on that field,” Hunter said the same way he says everything, with an intensity that is a little bit scary.
    It was Hardwick, a former Pro Bowler, who last year went down in the season opener and didn’t play again until Christmas night in Tennessee.
    Scott Mruczkowski, who had not played center since college and had only begun working there again in the offseason after spending his first four seasons as a backup guard, took over. He improved every week and, if nothing else, was good enough that he didn’t cost the Chargers, who won 10 of his 13 starts.
    Hardwick said the belief that every man is capable of playing as well as any other grew during an ’09 season in which injuries riddled the offensive line.
    “It hit home,” he said. “That was a reality for us. Guys got put in there, they got an opportunity. They did perform, because they had taken to the coaching, they paid attention. This year, that is reality. No matter who is in there, as an offensive line our job is: run the football and protect the quarterback, and that is how it has to be.”
    Maybe it will work that way again.
    “Everybody gets attention to detail,” Hardwick said. “Everybody gets the one-on-one focus it takes to be good player. Whether Brandyn is in there, whether Ty is in there, whether someone else has to come in, the expectation levels are still super high, and we expect the player to be able to perform.”
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    We'll see how good Dombo is when we start throwing in play actions and other long developing plays. Saturday was just a mini-sample, Norv was caliing a quick passing game and Peppers never really had a shot at Rivers.

    And even if we can just plug in Dombrowski, I still don't like the message it sends to FAs and guys looking for long term deals in the future. Left Tackle is a position AJ should have no problem opening up the checkbook for, its not like he's a WR.
     
  3. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    What message is that?

    The misguided implication that AJ refuses to open the checkbook?

    The message that's being sent is that if you hold out because you think you're better than the team you lessen your chances of getting paid.

    If a future FA wants to know whether or not he'll get paid he just has to look at the payday Antonio Gates just got.
     
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  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    If it sends a message that these salaries are getting way the hell outta hand - good.

    When half of the games/SB's are getting played somewhere overseas because the NFL has to tap into new markets to pump in more money, you'll sing a different song.
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    The message is that we're not spending money on guys who work hard and do everything right. McNeill is a solid LT, he never gets in trouble, we've never heard about him being out of shape, and apparently he's a good locker room guy as well.

    McNeill got screwed by the CBA this year thats true, and he probably should have just signed his 1yr tender and continued to negotiate. But I don't blame him for wanting to cash in now rather than risk major injury like Leon Washington last year. The type of money he'd get is the type that sets up his family for generations, 3.2 mil is not even close to that type of money these days.
     
  6. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    more insight from PR.


    :lol:
     
  7. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    He quit "doing everything right" the day he refused to sign the tender.

    Had he signed the tender I guarantee AJ would have been discussing extension with him when his time in line came.

    AJ just paid Antonio Gates. He made LT the richest RB in the game. He made Rivers one of the richest QBs in the game. Don't tell me AJ doesn't open the checkbook for players that deserve it. He just expects them to wait in line and has no patience for strongarm tactics like holdouts.
     
  8. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Gates. Rivers. Tomlinson.

    /yourargument
     
  9. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    add Jamal, Sproles

    :bolt:
     
  10. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Luis Castillo, Lorenzo Neal, Quentin Jammer

    The list goes on.

    It's simple. Don't play these selfish games and wait your turn and AJ will pay you.
     
  11. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Point taken, but I'm not going to say I'm comfortable letting a guy like McNeill walk for a shorter, heavier, slower guy like Dombrowski. O-line is one place I don't want to see AJ sitting on Spanos' wallet, and we'll see if they regret doing it when a guy like Dwight Freeney blasts around the edge and destroys PR.
     
  12. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Somehow I doubt that you being comfortable is at the forefront of AJ's concerns. :icon_tease:
     
  13. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    Nobody's denying the importance of the position, but at the same time if AJ buckles to McNeil's strongarm tactics he shows everyone else on the team that they can get paid if they strongarm AJ.

    You can fault him for being strong willed in his ways but at least he's consistent.

    And, as has been pointed out in these debates before, McNeil may be the best option to the Chargers but he's hardly a super star and I don't blame AJ if he doesn't want to pay him like one.
     
  14. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Well, the situation will not always be the same. The Chargers need to pay McNeil because these particular circumstances necessitate that move. The holdout is indeed a strong arm tactic; AJ smith was correct in resisting at first. But a better left tackle or back up plan hasn't surfaced. It's time to respond and, at this point, the proper response is to give in to this one player's demands.
     
  15. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    The proper response is for Marcus McNeill to sign his tender, get into camp, start playing football, and start negotiations on his new 6-year contract.

    That's the only "response" I want to see, anyway. Dombro and Green have shown well so far and I'm looking forward to seeing more.
     
  16. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I don't know of, nor have I ever had a job that I could refuse a raise then lay out of work until I got my way. This Owner and player greed with be the ruin of the league, before to long if this keeps up.
     
  17. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    The assumption is that would be conditional, yes. In essence we're arguing the same thing.
     
  18. LightEmUp

    LightEmUp Banned Banned

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    Is it just me or did Hardwick put on a BUNCH of weight? He looked fat everywhere! LOVE IT!!

    Props for being a small center before now let that extra weight move some defenders!
     
  19. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    IF you notice. The chargers aren't the only ones playing hard ball trying to keep a rein on huge new contracts. My guess is the owners are mostly together on this to keep contracts cost effective for teams. My guess this will be one of the big stumbling blocks in the new cba. That there will be a cap on 2nd and future contracts along with a cap on rookie contracts.

    One of the reasons I'm sure we'll have a lockout/strike next year. Too much to hassle over with on the new cba. So enjoy the season this year. Might be the last for a while.
     
  20. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    I know you better than that. You didn't just guarantee this! :no:
     
  21. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    What happened to Gates.......last time? :lol:
    Rivers was NEVER at the end of his contract.
     
  22. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Spoken like a true corporate sucka$$. :yes:
     
  23. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    Meh, believe what you will.

    These guys have forgotten what a privilege it is to play football, much less on the professional level. I would literally PAY to take their spots had I the size and speed to do good things for the team. I could die happy were I ever to suit up in the blue and gold just one farking time for one farking play.

    I understand the part about having to take care of your family. But you can't tell me that 3.5 mil, or thereabouts, for 16 games (give or take a few) is something that anyone who loves the game of football, really LOVES the game, would leave on the table when the other option is to not set foot on the gridiron for an entire year when your body only has so many years to give.

    Secondly, I have the perfect examples in how to conduct myself in Antonio Gates, Quentin Jammer and Philip Rivers, all of whom have gotten contracts anyone would envy. Why, instead, would I shoot myself in the farking foot when all I have to do is walk down the trail these guys have blazed for me?

    WHY WOULD I SACRIFICE A GOD-GIFTED YEAR OF MY FOOTBALL LIFE ON A CHAMPIONSHIP-CALIBER TEAM BECAUSE I'M NOT GETTING MONEY THAT WILL LIKELY COME ANYWAY IF I JUST FARKING PLAYED FOOTBALL THE WAY I KNOW I CAN??!

    VJ, MM, get into camp and start negotiating. Get a fair deal. If you don't get one, walk when you're a UFA. That's all well and good, and that's your right. The timing of the CBA drama may have been bad for you, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. That's just life. But it doesn't have to take the game away from you. Just go play football, man, enjoy the time you have with the game, because it's not going to last, and you'll never get this year back. Never.

    That's my true corporate suck-a$$ opinion.
     
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  24. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    :icon_eek:

    dood, way to knock one out of the park.

    :tup:
     
  25. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Golly, it’s not like we’re going down to (Pacific Beach) and trying to find someone to play left tackle.”




    Unleash the OMBAC on the NFL.
     
  26. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    Keep think that it's a "privilege" to play in the NFL. The NFL only takes thr best of the best. Just like any other job.

    You wanna use Gates as an example? Fine by me. Remember what happened last time? Didn't think so!

    Jammer & Rivers were never RFA's. They never had to make that decision.

    I keep telling all of you.......... we will never be in the position to turn down the kind of money that MM & VJ have. So don't tell me what you would do. Because you and I will never know. That's a fact!
     
  27. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    You don't believe it's a privilege to play in the NFL? You say the NFL takes the best of the best, and you would be correct. But in "any other job", most of them at least, you can rise to the top of the heap through a lot of hard work and a will to succeed. Not so in the NFL - you have to be gifted, blessed from birth with the right physical traits.

    I was a wide receiver under 6 feet tall with a forty time that some defensive linemen run in the NFL. I loved the game, played and practiced it with a eagerness and desire unequaled amongst my peers, a lot of whom were on the football team to be "cool" and impress the ladies. I had dog-eared books on technique. I ran routes over and over in streets and parks in every kind of weather, sometimes with someone throwing me the ball, sometimes not. I went to sleep with a football, woke up with a football, walked the halls of my school with a football, juggled it with one hand while I walked my dog, and so memorized the sound of it flying through the air that I could just about catch one with my eyes closed. In spite of all that, it wasn't my destiny to play the game well into my thirties or forties. I just wasn't blessed with right tools to do it, wasn't given by whatever higher power there is the body or the stature to play in the NFL. Every game I ever played in, every second in pads and helmet and cleats, is now a precious memory to me, because it's a part of my life that I loved that is now long gone.

    So do I think it's a privilege? You're gawd damn right I do, and you're gawd damn right it is.

    As for Gates - he's a smart cat, and learned fast what was important to him. You remember why he came in from that first holdout? He signed the $380,000 RFA tender and came in (corporate sucka$$?). Why do you think he would do such a thing? I mean, OHNOINJURIEZBRANDONMARSHALLOMG

    "It wasn't about me being the highest-paid tight end or making a whole bunch of money," Gates said. "It was more I want to win football games, and I want to be around good people. This organization has done a good job of surrounding me with good people. That's what I wanted to do, so I made the decision." - Union Tribune

    It was only after he signed the tender and came in that he signed the 6 year contract that made him a rich man. He learned from that, played his tail off, and lo and behold he's an even richer man now, no holdout required.

    “I was surprised by how smooth it went,” Gates said. “We saw eye to eye on just about every situation. I said I wanted to be here, but I think they could see it in the way I played and in my passion for the game. The negotiation went as smooth as anyone could’ve imagined.” - Union Tribune

    He learned from the past, and knew that if he worked hard and was a good teammate, he would be rewarded - and he was.

    Hell, even Merriman came around:

    "I didn't accomplish anything at all," Merriman said. "I always knew that I was wanted here, which was one of the biggest reasons for getting things sorted out. You hate to deal with the whole business part of it, but I'm so glad it's behind me and I can go out and play." - PFT

    These guys came face to face with the spectre of not being football players - realized, yes, the PRIVILEGE of being able to play this game - weighed what was important to them, and came in. Merriman will negotiate to get his contract, with us or with someone else, but he could not stay away from the game once the football started flying. That's a guy I want, a football player FIRST.

    Now, can you say the same for the two guys still playing hooky? I hope so... but until that day comes, I'm gonna think that they're more about the money than they are about football and the Chargers, and if that's the case I want them nowhere near this football team.

    /Jammer and Rivers? There's a reason they were never RFAs. hint, hint.
    //I may never know exactly what MM and VJ are "going through", but Gates and Merriman certainly do. Guess who's back at practice and who's not?
     
  28. Ray Dahayder

    Ray Dahayder BoltTalker

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    Or Castillo, or LT, or Jammer..... the list goes on and on. The Chargers have PROVEN that they will deal fairly with players that perform and put the team first. VJ and MM are not those type of players. A winning team doesn't need those selfish types.

    And to think that FAs wouldn't want to come here is ridiculous. Maybe the selfish, "me first" types won't want to come here, but do we want them? I don't see too many teams that are as well run and stable and winning consistently like the Chargers. So, they're doing SOMETHING right. Any player with a brain would and should want to come play for a team like that. If a player would prefer to think only of himself, then by all means, go sign with the Redskins. How many FAs have they shelled out huge bucks for over the years and have not made the playoffs? Enough said.

    If a player doesn't want to play for a team like the Chargers, in San Diego.... then we really don't want that guy. AJ is weeding out all the undesirables. And it's making the team better. I wouldn't worry too much.
     
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