Aug 24, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley (54) and linebacker Erin Henderson (50) and defensive end Jared Allen (69) sack San Diego Chargers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst (6) in the second quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Chargers Offensive Line Depth is Horrifying

AJ Smith stocked the roster with depth at multiple positions. It seems that he ignored the offensive line though. Last night, the Chargers had a pair of rookies starting the game, because key players up front were sidelined with injuries.

Mike Harris has been a nice story in camp, but he is not ready to be a starter against players like Jared Allen. Last week, he would have been matched up with DeMarcus Ware, but Ware rested because of injuries. Next week, he would be matched up with Aldon Smith, but that probably will just be for a short amount of time. Each week, the left tackle will have to face against the best in the league. Harris could be overmatched often and Philip will have to look over his shoulder constantly.

We need Jared Gaither to get back from his back spasms. He hasn’t had a full practice since the beginning of training camp and now he is only doing work on the rehab field. If his back issues flare up during the regular season, we will have to trot Harris back out there. There needs to be a better option.

Gaither showed that he has the talent to be a stud left tackle last season. He is no help on the sideline though. History shows that he has struggled with injuries and back problems. It is likely that he will have to miss time during the season, just looking at his past.

We had brought in veteran Mario Henderson to compete for a tackle spot as well, but what could we expect from someone that was not in the league last season? Henderson has not performed and will not make the roster.

With the injury to Nick Hardwick, we had to test our depth at center also. There is more optimism that Gaither would return before Hardwick. That is really concerning. Hardwick suffered a concussion in practice Monday and has not gone out to the practice field. He contemplated retirement in the offseason with his best buddy Kris Dielman, but decided that he still wanted to play. We know why Dielman retired and this injury must have Hardwick thinking about that again.

With Hardwick gone, we had to rely on rookie David Molk to get the start. Molk could be a decent player some day, but he is not ready now and is nowhere near the caliber of Hardwick. Veteran player Rex Hadnot could have taken the start at center, but he had to slide over to play guard last night.

The depth is weak. We never would expect 3 starters to go down, but it looked horrid last night. Hopefully we scan the waiver wire to pick up some help. It is worrisome looking at the line at its current state.

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  • Ignatius

    Ernie, you took the words out of my mouth because this was exactly what I was thinking when I saw the Vikings game. Forget about the depth at the o-line, there is no o-line! An undrafted rookie to block PR blindside? Preposterous! Another rookie at the guard position? Ridiculous!

    I could see Norv’s constant anger at the linemen in almost every offensive play, he was more than worried and it’s only a preseason game!

    My God, what was AJ thinking and right now there is not a single, decent or average offensive linemen in the waiver wire or FA.

    Methinks the team will again be in the botton five in running offense, good in passing offense and tops on sacks, hurries and whatever category the o-line is involved.

  • Jim Proctor

    Crazy! We will get creamed without a O line! Made me sick to watch our line against the Vikings. We better go find some talent cause God knows now that Gaither has a contract worth millions he will be a slacker like he has always been.

  • Edward Moretti

    I have no doubt Greene and Hardwick will be back in the lineup. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Game Day Gaither’s back issues will be resolved by the season opener. I’m more concerned with Clary. The Boltz’ continuing faith in this guy really makes me wonder if the Chargers value yes men over talent. I still can’t believe AJ passed over FA Eric Winston for the same kind of money we are now paying Clary. He is now opening running lanes for Charles and Hillis and protecting Cassel in KC.

    The only silver lining about this situation is that with Wright’s and Gilchrist’s improvement, our front seven defensive depth and the depth we have at WR, TE, RB and QB (we have to keep Lee!) AJ, if he’s still here, has no option but to make sure our first 2 draft picks next year are O-line. Does he?

  • #TheBoltFather

    The O-Line looked pathetic with the exception of Vasquez. He did a great job with Kevin Williams minus two plays.
    The first cuts will be made Monday at 4:00pm est. Keep your fingers crossed BoltFam. We need a little luck. Here’s to hoping a team makes a mistake and we reap the benefits of said mistake. BoltUp!

  • arnie

    Okay. this is where i come in and say, ” calm down. it’s only one bad game. it’s still preseason….”? yeah, keep lining up to drink that red kool-aid. Let get right to it. name the offensive linemen that does not get mentioned, in the same sentence as ” giving up sacks” and “Injured”? give up? remember this name. Luis Vasquez.
    he was drafted in the third round, from texas tech. he is in his fourth year, and he continues to show he was worth the pic. Big mac was taken in the second round. and despite McNiel’s injuries, he still managed to make the pro-bowl 3 times.
    My point. i’m unimpressed with the, fill-ins, to this point. much less the starters could not hold off a 4 man rush, to give PR enough to complete a pass last week.
    Clary. Dombrowski. why? i know Aj thinks one big body is as good as another, but how much is the $94 Million Dollar QB worth protecting? Gaither. now you know why he is not in KC or baltimore. great upside. i am sick of the complacency, in the Charger organization, that would put up with Gaither, when two other organizations would not, by ignoring and making excuses for his down side.

    p.s. i stopped watching in the middle of the second quarter. i could longer watch Clipboard jesus run for his life, on every other play.


  • 1961 Fan

    Arnie said it best. ” I am sick of the complacency in the Charger organization”
    It is time for all you young squirts to prepare yourselves for another dismal and disappointing season.

    • Pels04

      I’m hoping and expecting this season to be different than years past. As charger fans we all should. That being said its always in the back of my mind

      • arnie

        I’m hoping for better season too. i always am, despite who’s the GM of the HC. the only reason why 1961 Fan and myself are here, is because we care. if i say anything that seems derogatory in any way, it’s not because i’m mean or negative. it’s because i choose to see, what’s in front of me, with my eyes. that’s the truth.
        Hey, “the emperor has no close on…”
        and if my words have any intention it’s to inspire other fans to stand up and “stop making excuses” for this teams complacency, that other fan bases don’t seem to tolerate.

  • Mike

    I got slammed by a writer for saying that the Oline was more important this draft than the D-line. Luigit and our other players we already had ( minus Atari ) are doing just fine under Pagano because it was the system not the players. The Offensive line was bad going in and they did nothing in a strong move to fix it. They left the O-line stand pretty much instead of going out in free agency to get some help. Now Lee better be our 2nd QB as his release is so much faster than Whitehurst, yea! that’ll happen. I’m not pointing any fingers but you writers and fans know who you are. Rivers will be having to dodge defenders just like he has for some time. Oliners don’t get the respect that is due, you want a Superbowl, the hogs, steeltown Oline, SF oline. They’ve kept it strong by the respect that is due of these trenchers. You got what you wanted, but it’s unbalanced as can be. Maybe we can turn all these DT’s into Ol’s ya think!!