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Poor FA market for ZBS offensive tackles

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Free Agent Offensive Tackles (Pre-Franchise Tags)
    By John Gennaroon Feb 6, 11:00am

    This is a bit tricky. Technically, theSan Diego Chargers don't need an Offensive Tackle. They have a few signed through the 2013 season, including:
    That's, uhhh, a lot of Tackles that are signed to the 2013 roster. That's actually probably more than you'd want on the active roster, but Schilling makes up for it by also being able to play Guard (I think, things change with Zone Blocking).

    Clary has his haters, but he was the 38th best Tackle in the entire league in 2012 according to Pro Football Focus. He rated out at about average for his blocking skills across the board, but was the second best Tackle in the league at not creating/causing penalties.

    Gaither is the key here. When Jared played, he played well and the offensive line was transformed by it. Mike McCoy and Tom Telesco could make the decision to try and repair the damage caused by Gaither's first season in San Diego, but most of the rumors coming out have the team either releasing the big Tackle or trying to find another way out of the contract they signed with him last offseason.

    If staff is dead-set on immediately switching to a Zone Blocking scheme, Haslam and Harris would seemingly be good fits for it. Sounds like I have some work to do on a couple of "Cut Him or Keep Him?" polls for Gaither and Clary.

    Now, as for the free agents. If the Chargers were to get rid of Gaither (and maybe Clary?), and if they weren't comfortable with starting Harris and Haslam, they would need at least one Tackle to come in and plug the hole. Who is out there?
    • Jake Long, Miami Dolphins - Remember this? Well, that was back in the days of Norv Turner and Power Blocking schemes. If the Chargers were to sign a big-time free agent Tackle to a long-term deal this offseason, it would have to be someone they could build their Zone Blocking scheme around. That's probably not Jake Long. The Dolphins switched to ZBS in 2012, Long struggled and the team is content to let him go to team with a PBS.
    • Brandon Albert, Kansas City Chiefs - Many Chiefs fans think that the team would rather let Dwayne Bowe leave via free agency than Albert, which means he'll probably get franchised. If he does not, he'd be a fine Tackle to come in and replace Jared Gaither as the team's Left Tackle.
    • Ryan Harris, Houston Texans - Harris is mostly here for backup purposes. He started just 2 games last season for the Texans, and those are his only 2 starts since 2010. That being said, he was quite good as a backup and actually graded out better than Jake Long in 2012. He would provide the Chargers excellent depth at a tumultuous time.
    • Winston Justice, Indianapolis Colts - Tom Telesco and Ryan Grigson brought the former Eagle to the Colts last year on a 1-year contract, and he performed well enough to justify his $1.5 million price tag. Is he a fit for Zone? Probably not. He'd be better suited for a team that could take a chance as him as a backup that can fight for a starting position without having to keep a guy like Gaither on the roster.
    • Tyler Polumbus, Washington Redskins - He knows the Zone, but he's a terrible lineman and has been pretty terrible for a while.
    See? Not much there if the Chiefs manage to retain Albert. If the Chargers want to replace their current Tackles with guys that aren't on the roster, their best bet is probably to sign someone like Ryan Harris as a backup plan for a high draft choice coming in to play Tackle.
     
  2. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    A couple others to throw out there the writer missed:
    Jammal Brown, Washington Redskins - The reason Polumbus was forced to start last season was because Brown missed the season with a hip injury. Prior to that he was actually effective (not great, but certainly not a liability) as a RT and has previous experience at LT in a power-scheme in New Orleans. The guy isn't going to be commanding massive money because he's suffered injuries in both contract years he's had thus far, but could be a good option on a 1-2 year "show me" contract that can serve as a stop-gap.

    King Dunlap, Philadelphia Eagles - Certainly not an ideal option, but a fair option as a swing tackle with working knowledge of basic zone-blocking principles. But ultimately a better product than Tyler Polumbus.

    Not that we're likely to be able to afford him either, but Vollmer comes from a zone-based scheme as well, but his name was largely ignored by this writer as well who seemed to be primarily focusing on LOT's (and under the assumption that Jeromey Clary doesn't suck when the eyeball test tells a completely different story).
     
  3. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Clary was one of the best in the league in not committing penalties?! Hmm.. maybe cause he couldn't even get a holding call on Von Miller and others if he tried!

    I don't get why people think we're gonna go out and get Jake Long. Telesco was brought here to rebuild the roster through the draft. And that's what he'll do. Sure, we'll sign FA's, but there not gonna be the $10M a year guys that's for damn sure.
     
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  4. AnteaterCharger

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

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    Getting beaten after you hold someone doesn't really count as a penalty in most people's books. When you really have to dive into semi-obscure and obscure 'stats' and rank someone #39, then you really aren't doing them any favor.

    if the team wants to really commit to a ZBS then it might have to go guard in FA with Levitre or Rhinehart from Buffalo, at least with guards there's some options.

    Random thought, would Bushrod from NO make sense in a ZBS?
     
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  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Mike Harris might actually make a decent ZBS tackle...... he's got quicker feet than Clary, for sure.
     
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  6. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Bushrod would, but I've honestly never thought he was that good TBH. Maybe if he was amenable to a Clary-sized deal (structured a bit differently, maybe) and was willing to play RT, but signing him to play LT reeks to me of desperation to just "not have to draft a LT in the 1st" which I think is dumb if the talent and value is there (which there are three guys that could be available that all fit the ZBS just fine and with higher ceilings than Bushrod has). More likely what we'd be looking at if we signed Bushrod to even a mid-range LT contract would be that we'd still draft an LT candidate in the 2nd or 3rd and that guy probably beats out Bushrod within a year or two at most - and then we've got an overpaid backup.

    But yes, it's actually a very good free agent crop when it comes to ZBS-capable guards, which is why I'm not as freaked out if we don't retain either Green or Vasquez. Chad Rinehart was effective in D'Alessandris' blocking scheme. Matt Slauson (preference as he can play LG or C) and Brandon Moore were both very effective in Bill Callahan's zone-scheme before Sparano and his power-scheme came to town and they got overwhelmed being asked to play like they were 20 pounds bigger than they actually were. Donald Thomas has spent time in a zone-scheme and can play any of the 3 interior OL positions. If the Donkos don't re-sign him, Dan Koppen has experience in a zone scheme and has worked under McCoy in the past.
     
  7. Chico Andy

    Chico Andy BoltTalker

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    Funny! I just found this report yesterday, which states that it is a buyers market for OT this year. A very good FA crop and very good draft for OT.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nbc-y...ty-offensive-tackles-available-202105374.html

    Some OT that are FA that this article did not mention.
    Clady- to get franchise tag (but at least eliminates Denver from the competition pool)
    Phil Loadholt- Minnesota (RT)
    Sebastian Vollmer- NE (RT)
     
  8. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Now I don't expect the Chargers to do much at all with the OL in free agency, I would think we would focus on both OT spots in both free agency/draft. Both OG positions, I think we will focus on our own, ex. Re-Signing Tyronne Green, Brandyn Dombrowski, and possibly -- though unlikely Louis Vasquez.

    We cannot put together 4 OL through free agency/the draft and expect immediate results. We need unity and chemistry, and that's what we've lacked on the offensive side of the ball throughout recent years by letting guys that were trusted by Rivers and others walk.

    So I believe we will re-sign Green & Dombrowski -- one will be a for sure starter, possibly both of them if we don't sign a guy in FA but, I believe bringing in Chad Rinehart would hold tremendous value. Vasquez will get paid elsewhere, and he will not fit the scheme here. It's unfortunate but I think it's whats best for the team financially and also the familiarity of Rinehart and his former OL coach.

    The OT position is where I'm most intrigued in, what the hell where gonna do. Whether it's Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel or Lane Johnson that falls to us, one will be drafted, because after those 3, I believe there is a drop off in talent and ceiling. And also, what we will do with Clary and Gaither. I think, maybe Clary could perform in the ZBS, Gaither, I don't believe.
     
  9. Chico Andy

    Chico Andy BoltTalker

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    Oops! Just read the "ZBS" part in the title. Anyway, the link referenced above suggests that the tackle position in its entirety (irregardless of blocking scheme) is pretty deep this year.
     
  10. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    Funny cuz you listed two guys who actually play in a ZBS (Loadhold DEFFINITELY does not), including Vollmer who is in a ZBS very similar to ours...
     

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