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Healthy Clary feels experience paying off

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Aug 4, 2009

    Unlike his previous three NFL offseasons, Chargers offensive tackle Jeromey Clary didn’t have to rehab from surgery, and he believes his health allowed him the opportunity to grow as a player.

    After his rookie season, there was a shoulder operation, and another last February that kept Jeromey Clary[​IMG] from fully spending his offseason the way he would have liked.

    But this spring was different for the now fourth-year Charger. For the first time in his young NFL career, Clary got to enjoy a surgery-free offseason, which meant more time in the film room and on the practice field and less with the team’s athletic trainers.

    “This was the first offseason where I was able to do the things I needed to do,” Clary said. “Now I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since I’ve been here and I’m excited to get to work.”

    Clary’s desire to grow mentally and physically this offseason led him to seek out center Nick Hardwick[​IMG], who according to Clary allowed the Chargers’ starting right tackle to “tag along” throughout the spring and summer.

    “I don’t know if Nick had much of a say in it,” Clary said. “I kind of got on his coattail. I try to surround myself with the players I want to be like. When I first got here it was Roman (Oben). He was a Super Bowl champion and I really wanted to pick his brain. This year I spent a lot of time with Nick and it’s been great.”

    Clary hoped to pick up some of Hardwick’s football intelligence, confidence and work ethic. In turn, Hardwick said Clary helped him get in great shape for training camp.

    “I had a hard time keeping up with Jeromey because he worked so hard,” Hardwick said. “He works his tail off. We just pushed each other and worked together.”

    It’s that work ethic along with strength and attitude that have Chargers coaches excited about Clary as the Kansas State alum heads into just his second full season as a starter.

    “I like Jeromey because he’s continued to get better,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “He’s a pro. He works as hard as anyone on our football team.”

    Clary, who was drafted by the Chargers in the sixth round in 2006, spent his first NFL season on the team’s practice squad. Coaches saw him take a huge step forward in his second training camp, and he became the team’s starting right tackle midway through the 2007 season.

    He started six games in 2007 and anchored the right tackle spot for all 16 a year ago. Clary said earlier this week that he felt pretty good about his first half of 2008 but would have liked to have finished stronger. His head coach was a little more enthusiastic about Clary’s full body of work.

    Without being prompted, Turner spoke of how he believes Clary was unjustly criticized last season and voiced pride in how Clary continually strives to get better.

    “He had an outstanding year last year,” Turner said. “Unfortunately you can have a bad play in this league and a bad play at the right time, people interpret it as, ‘He struggles in this area.’ Everyone needs to get better and he’s got things he needs to get better at, but he’s an outstanding run blocker who is becoming a good pass protector.”

    Clary believes he’ll greatly benefit from the experience he gained in 2008. Not only because he has a full season under his belt, but also because of the challenges he has faced. Clary battled Colts defensive end Robert Mathis (11.5 sack in ’08) and Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley in the playoffs.

    The first month of 2009 brings home game against Terrell Suggs and the Ravens and Joey Porter’s Dolphins as well as a rematch with the Steelers. Both the Steelers and Dolphins defeated the Chargers last year, and Clary looks forward to getting another shot against their talented fronts.

    “I don’t want to measure myself against the guys that I feel like I played well against,” Clary said. “I’m dying to play Mathis again. My first game of my career, Ty Warren ate my lunch and I can’t wait to play Ty Warren again. You don’t measure yourself against teams that you whoop up on. You gauge yourself on your performance against guys that had some success against you.”

    During the time Hardwick spent with Clary this offseason, he saw a hungry, talented player that wants to grow. That’s a recipe that Hardwick believes will help the young tackle flourish.

    “He puts the time in,” Hardwick said. “He genuinely cares and if you have that, you’re going to be successful.”

    Nice work

    The Chargers were in pads Tuesday afternoon for another physical practice, one that pleased Turner.

    “I thought we had a good afternoon practice,” Turner said. “We went out and went in the red zone area and I thought we had great competition offensively and defensively.”

    Highlights included a Tim Dobbins[​IMG] interception off a tipped ball and a catch Malcom Floyd[​IMG] made on his tip toes in the back of the end zone.

    Change of time

    Wednesday night’s practice at Qualcomm Stadium has been moved up to 7 p.m. Fans are invited to the event, and admission is free. There won’t be a formal autograph session Wednesday, but autographs will be available on Saturday morning when the Chargers return to Qualcomm for Bud Light FanFest.
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    We'll see. I'm still not sold on Clary, but don't know that we have a better option this year unless someone really comes out of the woodwork in camp.
  3. Bergo23

    Bergo23 BoltTalker

    Sep 28, 2006
    He is starting to grow on me, his work ethic is what will keep him on this roster for many years, even if we draft a stud to potentially replace him.

    The right side of the line will be something I watch early in the season. I'm excited to see if they can open some holes for LT and company and keep Rivers upright.

    Passing on Oher said something about what our staff thinks of Clary. Jeromey may not be so lucky again next year with plenty of RT types available late in the first round, which is where we expect to pick.

    It was interesting to note Norv's impression: better run blocker than pass blocker. I liked what Clary had to say about playing the best competition: Ty Warren, etc, he wants another shot.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

    Sep 4, 2006
    One of the most baffling things in 2008 was that neither Clary or Goff was benched in favor of L..J. Shelton (or somebody else). :icon_huh:

    The right side of the line definitey had some problems, but since no substitutions were made, I just figured that Shelton must've stunk worse than the others! :icon_shrug:
  5. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Mathis owned Clary in the playoff game.
  6. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

    Jul 12, 2007
    So what do you think this entails? Maybe half the sacks/pressure/hits on Rivers coming from the right? Or are we looking at more of a 25% change?
  7. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    So far I don't see one area of play that needed improvement that isn't getting it. Everything from health, to conditioning, to skills to attitude. Chambers, Jackson, Floyd, Naanee and Gates will eat secondaries alive. LT is back in form, Hester is bigger and faster, Sproles is Sproles and Rivers has gotten into the flow. Rivera's going tribal. We have something here.

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