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Chargers O-Line Set to Make Foes Eat Crow

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Scout.com
    Posted Jul 24, 2009

    The Chargers' offensive line heard the talk. And it can't wait for its detractors to chow on crow this season.

    Much was made of running back LaDainian Tomlinson's least productive year last season. Much was made about the inconsistent play from the five big bodies in front of him.

    Both, some speculated, didn't have a great year.

    "Everyone wants to compare us to 2006," said Pro Bowl left guard Kris Dielman. "That is setting the bar pretty high."

    Those were the salad days of Tomlinson and his offensive line. Tomlinson was the NFL's MVP when cranking out 31 touchdowns - 28 on the ground - and the front line was considered among the most effective in the league.

    But things changed last year - some of it the line's doing, some not.

    "In '06, everything set up right," Dielman said.

    But that was under an ex-coach in Marty Schottenheimer who embraced the run like few others. It also was a season in which the Chargers rolled to a 14-2 record and were well in front in many of those games, content to kill the clock by killing rivals on the ground.

    Last year saw coach Norv Turner continue to put his fingerprints on the offense, which meant throwing more than running; can't fault the results as Philip Rivers threw for a franchise record 34 touchdowns with a league-leading 105.5 rating.

    And the Chargers, 4-8 at one point in 2008, where forced to rally in numerous games by heaving the ball.

    Different times, different results.

    But this year is going to be different.

    "We're two months ahead of schedule," Dielman said.

    Although training camp doesn't start until next week, Dielman points to the offseason workouts.

    This time last year Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill was nursing a sore neck and center Nick Hardwick had a tender foot.

    Now both are fit and ready to hit the ground running when the curtain lifts on camp.

    Tomlinson? Be wary of a future Hall of Famer eager to show there is plenty of tread on his tires - even at the ripe old age of 30.

    "Believe me, there is not a question in my mind he could do what he did in '06," Dielman said. "I hope people got to sleep on him this year because he will embarrass them."

    But while McNeill and Hardwick are a go to open holes for Tomlinson, the situation on the right side is a work in progress.

    The Chargers decided not to pursue Mike Goff, letting the savvy veteran flee as a free agent to AFC West-foe Kansas City. Instead they will turn to Kynan Forney, who didn't take a snap last year, or Louis Vasquez, who was blocking the Texas Tech's spread offense last year.

    "We'll get it figured out," Dielman said.

    And when they do, watch out.

    "We're all pumped and can't wait to get started," Hardwick said.

    In part, to erase a season in which Tomlinson rushed for 1,110 yards and the team collected 13 rushing touchdowns - or just two more than their opponents.

    "Everyone points to 2006," Dielman said. "But that was like the year Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs. It's hard to duplicate a year like that."
  2. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    I watched NFL Replay the other night and it was the home playoff game against the Colts.

    Even though we won (FU Peyton :icon_rofl:) Clary got azz-raaped in that game. :yes:
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