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Brandyn Dombrowski gets first shot at left tackle vacancy

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    BY SCOTT BAIR - North County Times Posted: July 27, 2010 11:40 pm

    SAN DIEGO -- It was assumed that veteran left tackle Tra Thomas was brought in to take Marcus McNeill's starting spot should the restricted free agent continue withholding services in protest of his contract status.

    That may not be the case. Not now, at least.

    Chargers coach Norv Turner put second-year pro and San Diego State alum Brandyn Dombrowski atop the depth chart at left tackle in McNeill's absence.

    "We'll start off with Brandyn Dombrowski at left tackle," Turner said in an interview with the NFL Network. "He played eight or nine games at right tackle (in 2009), but he's more of a natural fit on the left side. We signed Tra Thomas, which gives us some experience and depth over there.

    "No matter who plays over there, the linemen have to help each other and exploit matchups."

    Though there's a void at left tackle, it hasn't added stress to the remaining offensive linemen.

    "We've got Kris Dielman at left guard, which makes us all rest a little easier," right tackle Jeromey Clary said. "He's one of the best at his position, and whether Tra or Brandyn or someone else lines up at left tackle, Kris will make sure he's ready to play at a high level. He takes his work very seriously and he'll make sure the job gets done on that side."

    Dombrowski played in every game last season at either right guard or right tackle. He proved a serviceable replacement in extended stretches, especially after Clary was put on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

    Rookies on the run

    Rookie running backs are seeing extensive action this week. First-round draft pick Ryan Mathews, the expected starter, hasn't reported to training camp while in contract limbo. Backup tailback Darren Sproles and fullback Mike Tolbert won't practice until Friday.

    That leaves a lot of carries for Shawnbrey McNeal, Curtis Brinkley and Marcus Mason, undrafted rookies fighting for spots on the 53-man roster and the practice squad.

    It's an exhausting benefit that this group is trying to take advantage of before the veterans report, Mathews signs, and their reps drop significantly.

    "There are pluses and minuses to it," said McNeal, a Southern Methodist product who has been playing with the first team this week. "Any time you have a chance to get on film and show what you can do, it's a positive. The only drawback is that you don't want to be so tired that you make a mistake due to fatigue. But we've been fighting through it. I've been trying to take advantage of every rep I get. Hopefully I'm out there making a good impression."
  2. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    they sure are optimistic about Dombrowski being 'natural' at left tackle
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Dombrowski hopes to find home at left tackle

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 9:51 p.m.

    Brandyn Dombrowski knows that one never knows.
    But at least going into this training camp, he knows. For now. Sort of.
    “I know where I’m going to start,” Dombrowski said with a smile. “I don’t know where I’m going to finish.”
    After a rookie season in which he got relegated to the practice squad and a second summer in which he still feared getting cut, Dombrowski on Friday will line up as the Chargers’ starting left tackle.
    His being there Sept. 13 and beyond depends on how well 35-year-old Tra Thomas performs and when Marcus McNeill joins the team.
    At this point, the job is Dombrowski’s to lose. And while that has caused a lot of hand-wringing from fans and doomsday predictions from the media, Dombrowski looks at this as less of a challenge than what he’s already been through.
    He has, after all, started at both right guard and right tackle. A natural left guard, he is returning to the side where his footwork is most natural.
    “I’d rather have played left tackle last year,” said Dombrowski, who started the final seven games of 2009 at right tackle after Jeromey Clary underwent ankle surgery.
    Dombrowski did take snaps at left tackle in three games in 2009, including an extended turn in the regular-season finale.
    As a right tackle, Dombrowski was extremely physical and improved from November to January.
    “I’m glad I did it,” he said. “I’ve got experience now … Last year was more stressful than this year. I have a position on the team to help it out now. I’m going to keep trying to get better. I’m excited.”

    Reluctant dance partners

    The waiting waltz is at its frenzied zenith. Almost nothing is happening, almost everywhere.
    One more first-round pick signed Wednesday, bringing the total to two out of 32.
    But those two signings – of the 24th and 27th picks – are nowhere near where the Chargers selected Ryan Mathews at No. 12. And so, everyone stares at each other.
    An initial offer has yet to be made, and the Chargers and Mathews’ agent, Frank Bauer, have not begun substantive talks.
    General Manager A.J. Smith declined comment other than to express there is no reason to be alarmed.
    Mathews performed well in spring workouts and was at the Chargers facility working out regularly as late as last week. Running back is also considered one of the easiest positions at which to immediately perform in the NFL.
    Bauer is not the talking type. But three agents with clients drafted ahead of Mathews offered their thoughts on the NFL’s annual wait and hurry up to sign high draft picks.
    “It’s ridiculous,” said one agent with a client in the top 10.
    “Stupid,” said another.
    “It’s (a bad word),” said another.
    Of course, all of them placed the blame squarely on teams.
    “They bought the commodity,” one of the agents said. “It’s their duty to pay the commodity.”
    Two of the three agents said they have presented detailed proposals to the teams that drafted their players but have put off. Another said there has been no substantive discussions.
    “This is not brain surgery,” one of the agents said. “These deals are not hard. They become a little more difficult when you have hours instead of months.”
    Said another, referring to the fact that while there is some haggling over language and structure, it is fairly predictable what each pick will eventually receive: “My negotiations were over (draft day).”
  4. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Aug 12, 2006
    I with Big Dom all the best (and he might become a decent Left tackle) but........ methinks Heaven help us if he is there week 1.

    Anyone know off the top of their heads any Starting Left Tackles who came in off the street?. V few I would imagine.

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