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Dombrowski to start for first time at right tackle

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Lineman to play yet another position

    Dombrowski to start for first time at right tackle

    By Chris Jenkins

    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    His profession is football. His other game, it would seem, is Twister.
    Left foot here, right foot way over there. Left hand back here, right hand up there. Simple. Now keep your balance till the other guy falls.
    Taking over for the injured Jeromey Clary, offensive lineman Brandyn Dombrowski will start tomorrow for the Chargers at right tackle, a first for a blocker who's already played left guard, right guard and left tackle in either college or the NFL.
    “Hard,” said sidelined center Nick Hardwick, whose position is the only one Dombrowski has yet to play. “ Very hard.”
    “Very hard” also could describe the career path that led Dombrowski to his face-off with the Kansas City Chiefs. More usual than unusual is the Chargers offensive lineman who changes the position he came here to play or spends time on the practice squad, if not both.
    Now a two-time Pro Bowl left guard, Kris Dielman came to San Diego as an undrafted defensive lineman, spent time on the practice squad and played few game snaps while making the conversion his first two years, getting his chance with an injury to Toniu Fonoti. Starting in the absence of Hardwick with an ankle issue, center Scott Mruczkowski played special teams while backing up both guards over his first four seasons. Clary, a starter the past two seasons, spent his entire first year on the Chargers practice squad.
    “If you want to stay here, you learn every position, you go where they want you,” Dombrowski said. “If you're on the practice squad, you learn everything you can. You sit in the meetings, write everything down, keep your mouth quiet.”
    At the opposite end of the experience spectrum at right tackle is 13-year veteran Jon Runyan, whom the Chargers just signed while declaring Clary lost for the season. Before he had microfracture surgery, Runyan played in two Super Bowls and did not miss a start for the Tennessee Oilers/Titans from 1997 through 1999 and the Philadelphia Eagles from 2000-08.
    Thus, there's no telling how long Dombrowski will even be at tackle. But that's sort of been the nature of his gig with the Chargers.
    “When the season started, I was just trying to make the team, get on the 53(-man roster),” Dombrowski said. “Then it just happened. I did good in preseason, made it onto the active (roster).”
    He spent most of the summer working at left tackle, a precaution against the loss of Marcus McNeill, who was coming off neck surgery. Dombrowski, while definitely big enough at 6-feet-5, 323 pounds, hadn't played tackle on either side when joining the Chargers as a free agent out of San Diego State last year. With the Aztecs, he was a guard coached by a former Charger who had mastered the interior-line position, Ed White.
    “Tackle and guard definitely are not the same position,” Dombrowski said. “The steps are different. Your body gets used to being in a certain position, your muscles get used to being in a certain position.
    “Guard's a more physical position, because you get your hands on the guy right away. At tackle, you wait on the guy, let him make his move and make your reaction to the move. When you move around the line, you've just got to adjust.”
    The timing would seem fortuitous. Kansas City, while coming off a massive upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers, ranks 30th of 32 NFL teams in total defense and 30th in sacks with 15. For the most part, Dombrowski will be dealing with younger defenders in rookie end Tyson Jackson and outside linebacker Andy Studebaker in only his second start.
    And this time, at least, Dombrowski's had a week of preparation for his assignment. His versatility was put to a severe and spontaneous test in the season opener at Oakland. With all the action Dombrowski saw at left tackle through the preseason, he was summoned early in the game to play right guard against the Raiders in place of Louis Vasquez, whose injury knocked him out of that contest and the next two.
    “I hadn't played that in a year,” said Dombrowski. “That probably was the toughest, just because it was coming off the sideline in a game. My eyes were a little wide on that first drive. After you learn to relax, though, you just throw all that out the door and go play football.”
     
  2. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Crap. At least its KC and Cleveland....then we can toss Funyan out there at RT.
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    I have a feeling that you will pleasantly surprised with D-skis play tomorrow.
     
  4. IFiredCHart

    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

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    Well...you do have Clary as your adopted bolt, so you likely have relatively low expectations.

    *prepares to get bell rung*
     
  5. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    The last time he said something about us being surprisingly satisfied, he was right.
     
  6. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    It won't be necessarily easy but yeah at least its not against the Broncos or whatnot.

    I just hope he does ok, otherwise they might grab Corey Clark
     
  7. IFiredCHart

    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

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    Well, let's look at the "replacement" class of 2009:

    --Dobbins: An absolute machine in the middle, both as a run-stuffer and a battering ram until he went down with an injury.

    GRADE: :tup:

    --Siler: Low expectations were met with an absolute plug up the middle against the run and suprisingly-good coverage from a guy who was thought to be terminally-deficient in this area. Earned playing time in the base defense even when Dobbins and Burnett became healthy.

    GRADE: :abq1:

    --Ellison: Penned "the replacement" for Hart, and he has already shown inprovement in coverage and a nasty pursuit at the line of scrimmage. Looks like a 6th-round steal.

    GRADE: :tup:

    --Gregory: Earning more and more playing time in lieu of Hart, he is more than just "the nickel guy" and has shown big-time effort in tackling situations and in the base defense. It is great to have a guy like this to allow Ellison to grow into the safety position.

    GRADE: :abq1:

    --Oliver: Has made a few careless mistakes and has lacked focus at times, but the few opportunities he has had in the past two weeks, he has looked greatly improved. Perhaps the guy with the highest ceiling out of the Ellison-Grego-Oliver trio.

    GRADE: :unsure:

    The 6-man D-Line rotation: You do not really know them by name, but as a unit, the rotation of Johnson, Boone, Scott, Nwagbuo, Castillo, and Cesaire has really shown to be a difference against the opposing running game. Nice job, Rivera!

    GRADE: :abq1:

    Mruz: Doesn't generate much push in the running game, but he keeps Rivers clean and snaps the ball like an old pro.

    GRADE: :tup:


    So yeah, it is difficult to not have high expectations for Dombrowski, as everyone else who has needed to assume a starting role has stepped up and excelled.

    And Just for kicks...

    Clinton Hart--GRADE: :icon_rofl:
     
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    Just wondering, any problems with Dombrowski in the first half?
     
  9. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Well he let a defender get some pressure on Rivers but it was a smart stunt and a 3rd down - it happens.

    Not a problem, but really helped move a dude for LT's touchdown!
     
  10. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Rivers threw for 317 yards and 2 TD's so I'd say Dom did pretty well.
     
  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    I guess AJ knows what he's doing...:tup: :lol:
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Hey dude, is it true you went to see a High School band play on Friday night and didn't go to the block party??????
     
  13. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    He started and he did solid. Nothing great but nothing bad either.
     
  14. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    So much for the big Hali vs Dombrowski matchup all the Chiefs fans were talking about.:lol:
     
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    I told you that you would be pleasantly surprised. Not a pro bowl performance but no sacks and he plowed the way for a couple of runs. :abq2::abq1:
     
  16. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

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    Including a touchdown, so not bad, not bad at all. I personally call "expected out of every lineman" though so it's still not special IMO.
     
  17. IFiredCHart

    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

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    It is actually pretty cool, as seeing him work with Vasquez made me see just how much potential our RG has...he looked like Dielman creating some holes early on for LT :yes:.

    There was one mis-step early on with Dombrowski, but for the most part, he kept our QB clean :tup:.
     

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