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Replacing OT McNeill big order for Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    By Chris Jenkins

    Say the new guy at left tackle were a rookie. On second thought, don't. That would create yet another thought that LaDainian Tomlinson would shudder to think.
    To this point, a neck injury has denied the left-handed Chargers the use of Marcus McNeill, a Pro Bowl selection for each of his two NFL seasons. Out of necessity or desperation, a lot of other teams would be forced to begin the regular season with an inexperienced backup or even a rookie at a position that generally pits the blocker against the opposing defense's best pass rusher. “You just never know (what might happen),” said Tomlinson when faced with that hypothetical question. “You never know if it's like, 'L.T., look out, I missed my guy!!!' (Tomlinson grinned, feigning panic.) Or, 'Philip, throw it!!!' ”

    No such concern here. Even if that is Julius Peppers lining up at right defensive end Sunday for the Carolina Panthers.
    “With L.J., we should be fine,” said Tomlinson. “He's a veteran. The guy has seen everything. I think we'll be OK.”
    The Chargers are not obliged or inclined to reveal who'll be starting at the position, but the 6-foot-6, 345-pound L.J. Shelton has taken virtually every snap as first-team left tackle since the start of training camp. McNeill was in Los Angeles yesterday, having his neck problem examined by a specialist, and it's almost inconceivable that he simply could be plugged back into the starting job after more than a month away from practice.
    “It's not 100 percent that I'm starting this week,” said Shelton. “(Peppers) has to get ready for two of us.” OK. In any event, it is both fortunate and serendipitous for the Chargers that their replacement at such a vital position is a veteran of nine NFL seasons with three teams, all as a starter. Because, truth be told, they might well have been trying to prepare a rookie offensive tackle for his NFL debut Sunday.

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