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On-job training part of Clary's first start

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by sdbound, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Nice piece on Clary:

    When Jeromey Clary was still just a Texas teen, the television show that really caught his eye and taught him about National Football League reality was “Hard Knocks,” an HBO serial documentary about training camp with the Baltimore Ravens of 2001. Hands down, the star of the show was MVP linebacker Ray Lewis, who broke up the monotony of overheated two-a-days by playing the wickedest pranks and busting the best chops with trash talk.
    And now Lewis was screaming at him. Him being, Clary.

    As a newbie on the Chargers' offensive line, Jeromey Clary faced a vaunted pass rush.

    See, Lewis knows how to find a weakness, a person or a team's vulnerability. When the Ravens came to play the Chargers late last November, the inside linebacker quickly identified that soft underbelly as Clary, arriving on the field for what essentially was his unofficial takeover of the right offensive tackle spot in San Diego.

    “When I came in, Ray Lewis was barking at me,” said Clary. “He was telling (Ravens pass-rusher extraordinaire) Terrell Suggs to go get me, then Suggs would drop, so they were messing with me. I don't think anybody really schemed against me, or not to the best of my knowledge. Then again, it was my first year playing in the NFL, so they could've been scheming me and I didn't even know it.

    “I was playing catch-up, having to learn fast. I still have a lot to learn.”

    On a team with inordinately few weaknesses – and especially on a line with some highly reputable gents at several other starting spots – Clary likely will continue to draw a lot of focus from both opposing teams and fans as a potential point of vulnerability.

    But the real point is, when thrown directly into the fire, Clary proved that he belonged and justified the faith of coaches and teammates in him. Indeed, even before Clary took over the job under some disturbing circumstances last year, many in the Chargers camp thought it was long past time for him to replace the troubled (but highly paid) Shane Olivea.

    Saying he wanted to respect Olivea's privacy, Clary declined to discuss his predecessor at the position. If Olivea's problems were largely kept under wraps – he failed a drug test last year and, since joining the New York Giants, has admitted to going through rehab for an addiction to painkillers – there was definitely an obvious problem with the Chargers' offense until right around that Baltimore game.

    It was with the passing game that San Diego picked the Ravens apart – quarterback Philip Rivers wasn't sacked – but the running game also reappeared soon thereafter and carried the Chargers to the AFC Championship Game.

    Of the six games in which NFL rushing champion LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 100 yards or more, four were with Clary at right tackle.

    “I would love to say it was me, but as I said, I was playing a lot of catch-up,” said Clary, a sixth-round draft pick by the Chargers in 2006. “I had a lot of things fall into my lap that were almost pure luck. You also have to look at other things, like the fact that (center) Nick (Hardwick) came back, so I can't take credit for any of that.

    “LT does what he does. We do what we do. Things worked out for all of us.”

    As he spoke, Clary could look back over his shoulder and see the kickoff-coverage unit at work in the morning special-teams drills. A year ago, he'd have been out there with them, paying his dues and trying to earn a starting spot with the offense.

    An injury to Olivea's back on the second play of the second game rushed Clary into the breach, that against no less than the New England Patriots at Foxborough.

    “That first game was pretty surreal, pretty shocking,” said Clary. “Crazy. Definitely crazy.”

    Crazier yet, his first start came at Lambeau Field, where he was matched against a Pro Bowl defensive end in Aaron Kampman. Asked to recall his best play last year, Clary actually noted one in that game, a call on which he needed to get Kampman to bite on the inside. Kampman bit. The Chargers scored a touchdown, albeit in a losing effort.

    Other times, Clary admitted, he made the mistakes of a newbie. There were times when he might've even made the recognition on a blitz, but didn't get to the right spot to stop it. Rookie stuff.

    “Last year we were a lot left-handed, probably because I was young and they didn't have as much faith in me,” said Clary. “I feel like this year we're starting to get a little more balanced. I hope we can stay that way throughout the year. It would really open things up and would help our offense if we became more of a balanced team.”

    It helped immeasurably that Clary lined up next to 11-year veteran Mike Goff, who was the veteran guard when Hardwick and Olivea were rookies as well. Clary said Goff “molded” him.

    “I think I was just encouraging,” said Goff. “I let him know that, hey, you're going to have bad plays; don't dwell on it. It's a simple fact that when you get thrown into something like that, it can be overwhelming. But he showed his ability. He stepped up.”

    Nuts 'n' Bolts
    Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith will undergo arthroscopic surgery this morning to repair his shoulder. Smith has been bothered for a while by a partially torn labrum and bone spurs. Smith will miss the next three days of camp and return to Chargers Park on Thursday. There is speculation that Smith will be moved to safety upon his return.
  2. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2006

    I say we give him his release and see if New Orleans wants to pick him up :lol:
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Three days!?! AJ is pussing out!!!! :yes:
  4. AnteaterCharger

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

    Jan 19, 2006
    This means kassim osgood is a shoe in for the starting safety job
  5. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

    Jan 13, 2006
    my boy will return better than ever... faster than a speeding Cro... will leap tall McNeils in a single bound... more powerful than a Williams bull rush...

  6. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2006

    A. J.’s new shoulder
  7. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    While there were likely additional factors in this, Clary does seem to be an upgrade over Olivea. :yes:
  8. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    T-rex had his limitations. But T-rex hooked on prescription painkillers was ****.
  9. IgorUnchained

    IgorUnchained BoltTalker

    Aug 11, 2007
    I agree....he was more of a "Marty Guy" anyway, and he demands alot of money....plus, the guy is getting old.

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