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Position Preview: Offensive Line

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    23,310
    Ratings:
    +1,703
    The offensive line survived a year fraught with injuries. Lined with confidence from their continued success, the group is deeper than before the disruption.

    Chargers.com
    Posted 4 hours ago
    7-29-2010


    SAN DIEGO – Pro Bowl center Nick Hardwick[​IMG] responded to a question about the offensive line by flexing a tattooed right biceps.
    “You want to take a picture of it? This here is basically what that entails,” he joked.
    The conversation then turned to the importance of continuity at the position. That hunk of muscle was a major absence last season. Ankle injuries to Hardwick and starting right tackle Jeromey Clary[​IMG] jumbled the preseason plan. Add rookie Louis Vasquez[​IMG] and San Diego had to rotate bodies and learn to win fast.
    Brandyn Dombrowski[​IMG] and Scott Mruczkowski[​IMG] helped anchor a remade offensive line that won 11 straight games to close the season.
    “I tell you what, the guys who came in last year did an amazing job. We won 13 games, right?” Hardwick said. “So it’s just refining things. We just want to take this whole thing to another level.”
    The injuries didn’t stop San Diego from a fourth consecutive AFC West championship, but they fortified a group that now teems with depth.
    Vasquez has a year of experience, Dombrowski could compete for the starting left tackle job and Head Coach Norv Turner called Tyrone Green one of the players he’s most excited to watch during training camp.
    Several of the players can fill multiple positions along the line.
    “At a moment’s notice, God forbid, but somebody goes down, (others) have got to know what they’re doing,” Vasquez said. “We can’t afford to skip a beat and let this guy catch up. If his number’s called, he’s got to be ready to jump in there and go. Simple as that.”
    The team carries seven or eight lineman on the roster during games. Especially for the bench players, flexibility creates value.
    Green spent part of the offseason practicing at center after playing guard for Auburn in college. Dombrowski started at guard and now can fill either tackle spot. And the team’s success despite disruption last year has locked in their confidence.
    “I feel our second team could compete for a starting job on some teams,” Dombrowski said. “We proved that by going in there and actually competing and playing well.”
    Despite the gaudy passing numbers last season in an offense that tilted toward the air, the group isn’t focused on any one aspect.
    “We want to build on what we did last year,” Vasquez said. “We want to duplicate a lot of things, but this year we’re really focused on the details. The run game and the passing game alike, we’ve got to go back to the old drawing board. Start from square one.”
    To understand the intricacies of the offensive line’s objective on every play is to reach superfan status. Knowing that fans may not recognize competence and don’t have the knowledge to analyze the unit as experts is part of playing the position, Hardwick said.
    “When we’re doing well we’re overrated and when we’re doing poorly we’re underrated,” Hardwick said. “I guess it’s impossible for the common fan to know what our schemes are and to know who’s making or missing assignments.”

    OFFENSIVE LINE AT A GLANCE

    [​IMG]
    MARCUS MCNEILL
    Size:
    6-7, 336
    Exp.: 5
    Career GP: 62

    Named the team’s Lineman of the Year last season … Started all 16 games for the third time in four years … Drafted in the second round out of Auburn in 2006 … Became the third rookie offensive lineman in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl … Remains an unsigned restricted free agent.


    [​IMG] KRIS DIELMAN
    Size: 6-4, 320
    Exp.: 8
    Career GP: 99
    A Pro Bowl starter, reserve or alternate each year since 2006 … Named one of the 50 Greatest Chargers in 2009 … Started at left guard for San Diego since 2005 … Will reach 100 career NFL games if he plays in this year’s season opener at Kansas City … Entered college as a tight end and transitioned into a defensive tackle at Indiana.

    [​IMG]
    NICK HARDWICK
    Size:
    6-4, 305
    Exp.: 7
    Career GP: 71

    Also named one of the 50 Greatest Chargers in 2009 … Missed 13 games with an ankle injury … Started at center since getting drafted by the Chargers in the third round in 2004 … Selected to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and named an alternate in ’07 and ’08.

    [​IMG]
    LOUIS VASQUEZ
    Size:
    6-5, 335
    Exp.: 2
    Career GP: 14

    Adapted to the nuances of San Diego’s pro-set offense as a rookie after playing in the spread offense at Texas Tech … Started 14 games in his first NFL season … Missed other two weeks with an ankle injury … Stands a foot taller than his father, who is 5-foot-5.

    [​IMG]
    JEROMEY CLARY
    Size:
    6-6 320
    Exp.: 4
    Career GP: 42

    Was experiencing one of the finest seasons of his career before a serious ankle injury ended his season Nov. 22 at Denver … Started the first 10 games at right tackle before getting hurt … Selected by San Diego in the sixth round of the 2006 draft … Played in all 32 games in ’07 and ’08.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    23,310
    Ratings:
    +1,703
    [​IMG]
    TRA THOMAS
    Size:
    6-7, 316
    Exp.: 13
    Career GP: 174

    Three-time Pro Bowl selection at left tackle … Spent 11 of first 12 NFL seasons in Philadelphia … Started 168 of the 174 games he’s played in his NFL career … Played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2009 … Drafted 11th overall out of Florida State in 1998.



    [​IMG]
    SCOTT MRUCZKOWSKI
    Size:
    6-5, 310
    Exp.: 6
    Career GP: 58

    Anchored the offensive line at center for 13 games last year while an ankle injury sidelined starter Nick Hardwick … Suffered his own season-ending ankle injury Dec. 20 against Cincinnati … Brother Gene played offensive line for the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.



    [​IMG]
    BRANDYN DOMBROWSKI
    Size:
    6-5, 323
    Exp.: 2
    Career GP: 16

    Impressed coaches enough last preseason to earn a spot on the active roster … Spent 2008 on the practice squad … Pressed into duty in 2009 after injuries sidelined Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez and Jeromey Clary … Played in all 16 games and started eight.



    [​IMG]
    TYRONNE GREEN
    Size:
    6-2, 316
    Exp.: 2
    Career GP: 3

    Drafted in the fourth round last year, he played in four games, starting with Week 11 at Kansas City … Played center and guard at Auburn after converting from defensive tackle … Called a player to watch in training camp by Head Coach Norv Turner.



    [​IMG]
    COREY CLARK
    Size:
    6-5, 325
    Exp.: 2
    Career GP: 2

    Played his first career game Nov. 29, 2009, against Kansas City … Spent most of last season on the team’s practice squad … Made the active roster for most of the year as a rookie in 2008 … Honorable mention All-Big 12 as a senior at Texas A&M.



    [​IMG]
    RYAN MCDONALD
    Size:
    6-4, 293
    Exp.: 1
    Career GP: 0

    Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009 … Two-time second-team All-Big Ten at Illinois … Tied school record with 48 career games started, including the 2008 Rose Bowl against USC.



    [​IMG]
    BRADY BOND
    Size:
    6-6, 300
    Exp.: R
    Career GP: 0

    Moved to guard after playing right tackle for Oklahoma State in college … Grew up in a rural Oklahoma town of about 100 people … Played eight-man football in high school and sometimes helped his team rush for more than 300 yards in a single game.



    [​IMG]
    NICK RICHMOND
    Size:
    6-8, 309
    Exp.: R
    Career GP: 0

    Tallest player on the Chargers’ roster … Started part-time at both tackle spots for TCU … Weighs eight pounds more than he did in ninth grade … Finished third in the discus at the Texas 5A track state championships as a senior with a mark of 178 feet, 6 inches.



    [​IMG]
    JEFF HANSEN
    Size:
    6-4, 301
    Exp.: R
    Career GP: 0

    Transitioned from tackle to center after redshirt year at Montana State … Loves to hike, hunt, fish and ski in his home state of Montana and wants to start a family there one day … Made FCS All-American his junior season for the Bobcats.



    [​IMG]
    RYAN OTTERSON
    Size:
    6-5, 291
    Exp.: R
    Career GP: 0

    Holds distinction as team’s smallest offensive lineman … Attempts to utilize physical ability by knowing the offense better than anyone else … Moved from small Minnesota town of 18,000 to play high school football in Denver … Started at left tackle for Wyoming his final three seasons.

    Week 1 offensive line, 2000-09:

    2000: Ben Coleman, Raleigh Roundtree, Roman Fortin, Kevin Gogan, Vaughn Parker.
    2001: Damion McIntosh, Raleigh Roundtree, Kendyl Jacox, DeMingo Graham, Vaughn Parker.
    2002: Damion McIntosh, Bob Hallen, Toniu Fonoti, Vaughn Parker, Cory Raymer.
    2003: Damion McIntosh, Kelvin Garmon, Jason Ball, Solomon Page, Vaughn Parker.
    2004: Roban Oben, Toniu Fonoti, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea.
    2005: Roban Oben, Toniu Fonoti, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea.
    2006: Marcus McNeil, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea.
    2007: Marcus McNeil, Kris Deilman, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea.
    2008: L.J. Shelton, Kris Dielman, Jeremy Newberry, Mike Goff, Jeromey Clary.
    2009: Marcus McNeil, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Jeromey Clary.

    Week 1 offensive line on roster:

    2000: Ben Coleman, Raleigh Roundtree, Roman Fortin, Kevin Gogan, Vaughn Parker, DeMingo Graham, Kendyl Jacox.
    2001: Damion McIntosh, Raleigh Roundtree, Kendyl Jacox, DeMingo Graham, Vaughn Parker, Michael Keathley, Ed Ellis.
    2002: Damion McIntosh, Bob Hallen, Toniu Fonoti, Vaughn Parker, Cory Raymer, Jason Ball, Michael Keathley.
    2003: Damion McIntosh, Kelvin Garmon, Jason Ball, Solomon Page, Vaughn Parker, Cory Raymer, Bob Hallen.
    2004: Roban Oben, Toniu Fonoti, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea, Kris Dielman, David Brandt, Leander Jordan.
    2005: Roban Oben, Toniu Fonoti, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea, Kris Dielman, Bob Hallen, Scott Mruczkowski.
    2006: Marcus McNeil, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea, Cory Withrow, Cory Lekkerkerker, Scott Mruczkowski.
    2007: Marcus McNeil, Kris Deilman, Nick Hardwick, Mike Goff, Shane Olivea, Scott Mruczkowski, Cory Withrow.
    2008: L.J. Shelton, Kris Dielman, Jeremy Newberry, Mike Goff, Jeromey Clary, Scott Mruczkowski, Kynan Forney, Nick Hardwick.
    2009: Marcus McNeil, Kris Dielman, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Jeromey Clary, Brandyn Dombrowski, Scott Mruczkowski, Tyronne Green.
     
  3. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    2,994
    Ratings:
    +195
    The O-line has to prove playing deep passes by Rivers
    and getting holes for Ryan Matthews to 2nd level.

    We'll see how it works.
     

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