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Offensive line well prepared

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Brandyn Dombrowski

    By Hayley Johnston, Chargers.com
    Posted 21 hours ago

    A year removed from a spat of injuries, the Chargers offensive line now boasts more players with game experience and versatility.

    SAN DIEGO – For most teams, losing a Pro Bowl center and the right half of the offensive line would spell disaster. Not for San Diego, which won 11 straight games last year and took home their fourth consecutive AFC West title. Those injuries tested the depth of the offensive line but also expanded the number of players with NFL experience.

    “What was good about last year is that people got a chance to play, adding depth and experience and making us a better unit,” said Brandyn Dombrowski, who replaced injured players at right guard and right tackle. “It’s good that we have the leaders we do. We have Pro Bowl leaders and you can’t get any better than that. They help us out with whatever we need and are great examples.”

    Right guard Louis Vasquez, center Nick Hardwick and right tackle Jeromey Clary[​IMG] all suffered injuries last season, forcing the coaching staff to make adjustments.

    Hardwick injured his left ankle during last year’s season opener at Oakland. Scott Mruczkowski started 13 games in his absence. Vasquez also was sidelined with a Week 1 ankle injury, allowing Dombrowski to start two games at guard. Dombrowski finished the season for Clary, who missed the final seven games due to a severely sprained ankle.

    Although injuries kept several players off the field, they afforded others a generous amount of experience. Mruczkowski, Dombrowski and second-year player Tyronne Green[​IMG] are capable of lining up at multiple spots.

    “They bring a great attitude. They are professional guys that work extremely hard,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “From a playing standpoint, they are very versatile players. They’ve played center, they’ve played guard and they’ve played tackle. We have great flexibility.”

    Green, who has practiced at center, guard, and both tackle positions during the offseason and training camp, explained his mindset.

    “If you’re in a backup role, you never know where you’ll get thrown in. The more versatile you are, the more it helps you and it helps the team.”

    But it’s not all mixing and matching. Veterans Kris Dielman[​IMG] and Hardwick have made Pro Bowls at their specific positions. Dielman became the starting left guard in ’05. Hardwick, a starter since his rookie season, is in his seventh year with the Chargers.

    Hardwick credits the offensive line coaches for last year’s continued success. He explained how the line aims to establish cohesion among all five positions. Good coaching helps each player understand what they are asked to do and how to do it, which makes them more resilient and adaptable.

    “We’ve got a really solid group where everybody can come in at any time and play. We don’t really view ourselves as starters and backups,” Hardwick said. “We view ourselves as the offensive line. No matter whose turn it is to play, based on injuries or whatever happens, we have a very high expectation of ourselves and whoever is in there is going to do a great job for us.”

    San Diego was able to outscore their competitors even with numerous injuries to the offensive line. Backups now provide more stability to the group, and this season is shaping up to be entirely different. Previous injuries have healed and the depth of the Chargers’ offensive line has been restored.

    “What’s happened with us, with the injuries that we’ve had, we keep moving people around and guys have really stepped up,” Turner said. “I think when this all settles, we are going to have as good of depth as anyone in the National Football League.”
  2. Aggieman

    Aggieman I bleed blue and gold

    Aug 14, 2008
    It's all on Dombrowski, and "yes that is Julius Peppers who you'll face right out of the gate."
  3. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    Better throw a TE over there to help OR just hand the ball off to Mathews.
  4. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007
    Prepared. :icon_rofl:

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