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Is Molk the heir apparent at center?

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Buck Melanoma, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    CHARGERS: Hardwick set to groom heir apparent

    Gregory Bull

    Chargers center Nick Hardwick stretches during offseason practice last week in San Diego. Gregory Bull | Associated Press

    SAN DIEGO ---- With the ink still drying on his new three-year contract, veteran Chargers center Nick Hardwick opened minicamp on Tuesday with a renewed focus and the likelihood of new task at hand ---- grooming a replacement.
    Hardwick is set to enter his ninth season with the Chargers, but before signing his new deal in March, rumors had surfaced that the Pro Bowl center may have lost his passion to play the game and was contemplating retirement. As a result, the Chargers drafted Michigan center David Molk in April. Molk is the reigning winner of the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the best center in college football.
    "He helps me a lot," Molk said of Hardwick. "Every little question I have, he's willing to answer, and he's just been a big help and a big reason why I'm picking everything up so fast."
    Molk, drafted by the Chargers in the seventh round (226th overall), has been working with Hardwick since the start of OTAs, and the Chargers' starting center wasn't short on praise for his protege.
    "He's a tough little player," Hardwick said of the 6-foot-1, 298-pound Molk. "He likes to work. He's got a good brain. And from the looks of things, he's got great balance, good strength, good quickness, and he has a good knack for football."
    Hardwick was drafted by the Chargers in the third round, 66th overall, of the 2004 draft out of Purdue and has been a staple of the Chargers' offensive line since. After earning a starting position during his rookie campaign and helping the Chargers get to the playoffs that year, Hardwick was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and has consistently been one of the most vital keys to the success of the offensive line.
    "I just always try to get the best out of myself," said Hardwick, a member of the Chargers' 50th anniversary all-time team. "I keep trying to get better every day, find something new to work on, and I always try to find another way to help the guys around me; find a way to get the unit better, find a way to get the offense better, and just keep showing up."
    Molk is in a position with which he's very familiar ---- the underdog. Battling criticisms about his size and strength since he was a high school player, Molk is determined to prove his doubters wrong again.
    "That's just how it's been my entire life, and the draft just exemplified that," said Molk, a four-year starter at Michigan. "It was just another group of people judging me down, under what my potential is, and that's been happening to me at every level I've played at. In high school, in college, I've always risen to that 'All-American' title, you know, be the best at my position, but it never seems to transfer over.
    "So now I just gotta play the way I play and produce."
    Added Hardwick: "We'll just keep working and continue to grow and get better."

    I was very surprised to see Molk available in the 7th. Not the biggest kid, but he's a very good technician & by accounts I've read a hard worker & smart. Could be a battle between him & Colin Baxter for b/u center. Hopefully our staff can add a some muscle to his frame. He should end up playing at about the same weight as Hardwick.
  2. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    He probably reminds Hardwick of himself; undersized, scrappy, a hard worker and fighter dedicated to his craft. And they're both Big 10 players. I think Molk could be a starter but there's alot of time between now and then to determine and Molk has to beat Colin Baxter too. He's someone worth keeping a close eye on
  3. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

    Oct 28, 2009
    Never hurts to draft a guy with a chip on his shoulder that wants to prove his doubters wrong.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1

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