A Fortress of Standitude
By Jonah Lee
November 25, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers receiverMalcom Floyd
(80) celebrates with offensive guardLouis Vasquez
(65) after scoring on a 21-yard reception during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
When I used to play league organized football and occasionally an offensive lineman didn’t show up to practice, we would often leave a trash bin on the spot where the lineman would be, just as a place holder. I realized how much more effective that trash bin was compared to San Diego’s line in 2012. Anyways, it’s no secret it’s time to build Philip Rivers a “Fortress of Standitude” one that will give him time to throw.
In the 2009 draft, Louis Vasquez was the second Guard to be taken behind only Andy Levitre. Both men became free agents this past offseason and were highly coveted and sought after and it didn’t take long before both men found new homes. With Vasquez gone to division rival, the Denver Broncos, we are in search for two starting guards, the other being vacated by Tyronne Green. We brought in Chad Rinehart, Rich Ohrnberger and we have a healthy Johnnie Troutman. Between the pack Rinehart has the experience and the short-term capability to start. With uncertainty between Troutman and Ohrnberger, the Chargers will unquestionably use one of their picks on a guard in the draft.
What I want to know is “can Johnnie Troutman be a starter?” Initially projected to be selected in the early rounds of the 2012 draft Troutman’s draft stock tumbled after sustaining a pectoral injury. Troutman was a gamble pick in round five and expected to be a future business investment. AJ Smith knew Troutman wouldn’t be ready to play but perhaps he was preparing to see both Vasquez and Green walk in free agency. Nevertheless, Troutman is ready and he needs to prove he was worth the wait.
Drafting one starter and potentially seeing Troutman as the other starter could be some of the missing pieces to Philip Rivers’ “Fortress of Standitude.” In the 2012 season, Rivers’ blind side was a train wreck; we need an immediate upgrade from Green, Gaither, a trash bin and whoever else was standing in the left guard and tackle spots.
Johnnie Troutman, started three seasons for Penn State. Troutman was known for his run-blocking abilities and is highly capable of finishing blocking assignments. The most impressive stat of Troutman’s is that he didn’t allow a single sack as a starter in college. For the running game, the massive JT has the combination of size and quickness that can make plays in space. Troutman has recently been vocal about stepping up with the desire to become a starter. There is no arrogance in his voice, only confidence, which hopefully can radiate onto the field.