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Dombrowski fending off defenders, doubters

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]


    By Chris Jenkins
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 5:27 p.m.


    Clearly not a man who enjoys repeating himself _ especially when answering the same question disguised umpteen different ways over six weeks’ time _ Norv Turner has tried to hide his annoyance. Indeed, admirably, the Chargers head coach has made every attempt to think of pertinent and polite ways of telling people to get off Brandyn Dombrowski’s back.
    Two games into the regular-season, though, Turner’s ready to bring it all down to the bottom line.
    “You talk to the position coaches and they get into all this technique stuff, but I kinda evaluate it pretty simply,” said Turner. “His guy doesn’t get close to the quarterback. His guy doesn’t touch the quarterback. That’s what protection is all about to me, and his guy has not gotten close to the quarterback.”
    Dombrowski, thrust into the difficult role of filling the crucial left-tackle spot vacated by the holdout of Marcus McNeill, has successfully kept people off Philip Rivers’ back. He made a strong first impression with his preseason play against Julius Peppers and DeMarcus Ware, then held his own through both a rain-soaked loss at Kansas City and a sun-splashed romp over Jacksonville.
    Of the latter, Turnersaid he got the sense early that the Jaguars felt they could exploit Dombrowski’s relative inexperience at the position, but the Chargers dominated on that side with Dombrowski in tandem with Pro Bowl guard Kris Dielman. For his part, Dombrowski came away with a black-and-blue souvenir of the Jags, a slight limp and taped-over leg from a fourth-quarter leg-whipping that forced him out of the game.
    “Just a bruise,” said Dombrowski. “Nothing too big.”
    Now there’s a quick switch, the wonder whether Dombrowski will be available for the following game. (He’s certain he will.) A year ago, his first season off the practice squad and just two years out of San Diego State, the concern was whether one of the Chargers’ starting blockers would be sidelined or Dombrowski would have to come off the bench as the backup.
    He started two games at right guard for injured Louis Vasquez, then seven at right tackle in place of blown-ankled Jeromey Clary, including six straight late-season wins and a playoff game. Never mind that, when it comes to offensive-line play and instinct and technique, Dombrowski’s primarily left-handed and left-footed.
    “The one position last year that worried me was right tackle,” said Dombrowski. “I was like, man, I hope I don’t have to go in there. But when I did, I’m glad I did it. Hal (Hunter, the offensive line coach) had to teach me everything from scratch. Right to left, the technique is so completely different. It took us a while, but we got it.”
    Perhaps the fact that Dombrowski was needed to bounce around so many different spots _ along with his undrafted status out of SDSU _ gave the impression that he was destined to be a sort of career reserve and utility player. Among his fellow linemen, though, he’d earned his chops.
    “He’s physical, physical from the instant he gets in there, and that’s how you wipe out that period of transition,” said center Nick Hardwick. “When you know the guy next to you has got your back, is going to protect you, keep guys off you when you’re not looking, that’s definitely how you get respect.”
    As the discoloration of his shin will attest, it’s a nasty world in the trenches. If you went solely on Dombrowski’s demeanor in street clothes _ even at his full size of 6-foot-5, not counting the Padres cap atop his head, and 323 pounds _ you’d mistakenly think him a bit too kind and gentle for the job. Certainly, when anywhere in the vicinity of Dielman, he’s doesn’t have the most menacing persona in the locker room.
    “I’m a pretty mellow guy,” said Dombrowski, who maintained his ever-friendly disposition even as critics repeatedly pointed to him as a possible weak line in the offense. “It was different in college. I played way more aggressive in college, wanted to kill everybody. But as a pro,I’ve learned that you have to also have patience and poise. You have to know when to unleash the aggression.
    “In college, you don’t have to worry about the cost about going too far at the wrong time. You don’t have to worry about fines. Now if I do something, I can be fined $5,000, so I have to be a little bit more cautious. I’m not making the big bucks.”
    Hardwick’s seen it, the “the fight, the spirit” in Dombrowski when it’s game on or even practice time. It really comes out when Rivers calls a running play, which plays to Dombrowski’s size and strengths and always appeals to the bulldozer mentality of most offensive lineman. Run-blocking is Dombrowski’s forte, which makes the timing of all this fortuitous, considering how much the Chargers want to develop a ground game to match their passing prowess.
    “I love it when we do the tackle-pulling, getting out in front and taking the little guys out,” he said. “I guess I just like getting out in the open space.”
     
  2. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I think Dombrowski's done a great job so far. It's not easy filling in for a Pro-Bowler and IF Big Mac comes back, that just means more depth for us at LT. Problem is, some other team will take notice and snatch him away if AJ doesn't give him a long term deal. Props to him for proving the doubters wrong.
     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Chargers confident in Dombrowski

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 3 hours ago

    The left tackle has solidified his place on the line after two games, helping Philip Rivers pass for 632 yards and playing physical in the run game.

    SAN DIEGO – Aaron Kampman’s resurgence in Jacksonville was a storyline last week.
    The ninth-year defensive end recovered from knee surgery to sack Denver’s Kyle Orton one and a half times and pressure him a handful of others.
    Kampman’s name didn’t come up much Sunday in a 38-13 Chargers win. Part of that is due to left tackle Brandyn Dombrowski[​IMG].
    “You talk to the position coaches and they’d get into all this technique stuff. I tend to evaluate it pretty simply,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “His guy has not gotten close to the quarterback.
    “Kampman is a very good rusher. I think they felt they could take advantage of that situation and it obviously worked to our advantage. I can just see his confidence growing right now and I think each quarter he plays in a more physical manner in the run game.”
    Not one to say much to his credit or detriment or to offer a glimpse of whether or not he feels the weight of getting thrust into the starting left tackle role three seasons after he signed as an undrafted free agent guard, Dombrowski has said he doesn’t pay attention to the reaction surrounding his play.
    He’d have to search hard to find something negative said about him through two games.
    “The last couple weeks he’s been doing an outstanding job,” Antonio Gates[​IMG] said. “Trust me, we definitely commend him and it’s not overlooked.
    “It’s hard to come in and play in this league and play consistent whether you’re a starter or you’re a guy that’s filling a role. We said all along that we’re asking guys to step up and make plays. That’s the strength of (our team).”
    IN RANGE: While it’s unlikely he’ll reach the historic mark against Seattle this week, Gates is 11 catches shy of 500 for his career. He’d become the seventh tight end in NFL history to reach that mark two weeks after Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, the all-time leader, caught his 1,000th pass.
    Gates has caught at least 11 passes twice in his career. Seattle allowed 14 receptions to tight ends in its first two games, including eight to Vernon Davis of San Francisco.
    Gates has reached a historic period in his career, ascending all-time lists seemingly with every catch months after signing a contract that will keep him in San Diego through 2015.
    “It’s so far-fetched for me to even consider things such as all-time greats because I feel like I have so much football left. I’m just trying to consume all the positive reinforcement and just keep playing at a high level,” he said.
    Rivers, who also is signed through 2015, refuted the notion that Gates was his “safety net” because Gates often is the primary receiver.
    “(But) you know where he’s going to be and he’s certainly a guy over the last seven years you can count on,” Rivers said. “He continues to find ways to get open.”
    GAME OF INTEL: Former San Diego quarterback Charlie Whitehurst now is the backup in Seattle.
    Expect the Seahawks to ask him a few questions to see if they can gain an advantage, Turner said.
    “He does know our personnel a little bit. Some of it will help them. Some of it might be too much information,” Turner said. “The one thing Charlie knows is that with us you’ve got to expect the unexpected and we’re going to have some things that they haven’t seen before and that he hasn’t seen before.”
    GOOD SO FAR: All four AFC West teams won at least one game through Week 2 for the first time since 2002.
    The Chiefs lead the division at 2-0 and every other team is 1-1. Turner isn’t surprised.
    “I think all three of the other teams in our division have gotten better,” he said. “They’ve all been drafting in the top 10, and you draft good football players (there).”
    PRACTICE WEATHER: Sunny, 69 degrees.
    LONG-RANGE FORECAST: The current forecast for Sunday’s game in Seattle is a high of 71 degrees and a 50 percent chance of showers.
     
  4. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    GAME OF INTEL: Former San Diego quarterback Charlie Whitehurst now is the backup in Seattle.
    Expect the Seahawks to ask him a few questions to see if they can gain an advantage, Turner said.
    “He does know our personnel a little bit. Some of it will help them. Some of it might be too much information,” Turner said. “The one thing Charlie knows is that with us you’ve got to expect the unexpected and we’re going to have some things that they haven’t seen before and that he hasn’t seen before.”


    Love that last part things he hasnt seen before. I have an idea hope he hasnt. Wont matter they are goin down and they will learn more about SD in the game than they ever will pull out of Chuck.
     

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