After all that talk about the outside linebacker position lately, I now wanna put my focus on another “recent” development: Jeromey Clary´s possible – or already fixed – transition from right tackle to right guard.
Well actually this (possible) move is nothing new to us, but due to his performances in week one of this year´s OTAs, more and more details about this whole thing become public. Already on the first day of the “Organized Team Activities“, U-T San Diego´s Kevin Acee “promised” that we´re “going to feel differently about right guard Jeromey Clary than we did about right tackle Jeromey Clary.” And it seems he´s got prominent support on his side:
“I think he’s going to be good for Fluker,” Philip Rivers said. “It’s going to be good having him there. Besides Nick (Hardwick), he knows the ins and outs of that offensive line … better than anybody.”
Well, this statement by Philip Rivers may not be too much of a surprise. With all that change on the offensive line, I think he really is stoked that besides Nick Hardwick, another familiar face (or back…) from last season remains a part on the line in front of him in 2013…even if his name is Jeromey Clary.
What´s also interesting is that most of the fans are pretty hyped about getting to see the former sixth round pick (in 2006) in a Chargers uniform at least one more season. Months, or just a few weeks ago, he was one of most hated players on the roster and (nearly) everybody wanted to see him get kicked out of town. Sure, “Big Lazy” Jared Gaither might have found a place above him on that list. But the hate for that lazy bu…uhm… ”beast” (*cough* *cough*) was at least followed by phrases like: “When healthy and on the field, he is one of best tackles in the league”. Have you ever heard someone saying the same thing about the guy with the No. 66 on his jersey? And now on the inside at guard he is considered as the designated starter…hmm.
I have to admit, influenced by all those praise lately for the “interior lineman Jeromey Clary”, I´m about to jump on that bandwagon too. I mean all of the guys on the roster listed as “guard” (Johnnie Troutman, Rich Ohrnberger, Chad Rinehart) ended last season on injured reserve. Sure, King Dunlap, David Molk and Brandyn Dombrowski can play the position too, but good depth at any spot on the O-Line is highly welcomed. But there´s something else we´ve to consider: the financial aspect.
Jeromey Clary is set to be a $5.7 million cap hit in 2013. His release would free up $2.3 million. In comparism, Andy Levitre will count $4.6 million against the cap this season for the Tennessee Titans (it will be a lot more in 2014 though). So, I guess its just fair to question whether or not Clary is worth that money.
According to U-T San Diego´s Kevin Acee, “Clary will be just the 15th-highest paid guard in the NFL, based on his $5 million per year average.” If he´s really that kind of a stud player at the interior of the line, then I´d say give him that money. As Rivers said, he could be some kind of mentor for D.J. Fluker who´ll take over the starting job at right tackle. Clary may be a hard working and highly motivated guy, but he never really was able to show that he can be reliable pass protector for the Chargers´ field general. It´s kind of funny, that immediately when Fluker had been drafted, Clary started to mentally prepare to play guard next season. When head coach Mike McCoy phoned the 29-year old veteran on day two of the NFL draft, he already knew what the story is all about:
“Sure, why not?” Clary said of his reaction. “I’m here to play football. They want me to play wide receiver, I’ll line up and give it a shot. I’m not saying it’s going to be good, but I’ll give it a shot.”
But here comes the next question: would that transition from tackle to guard really be that easy for him? Let´s check out what the Chargers´ signal caller has to say about that:
“I feel like he’ll adjust,” Rivers said. “It’s going to be different for him. From a mental standpoint it won’t be any problem. It’s going to be different just because it’s a different area and taking on different types of rushers and different double-team fits. So from that standpoint I’m sure it’s going to be an adjustment for him, but he won’t have any problem knowing what to do. I think it’ll be a good spot for him.”
Well, you wanna argue with the Bolts´ general on the field? (Yes, please I want to!)
After all, I can see Clary do better at the interior than on the outside of the line, as he wouldn´t have to move that much (as we all know, his footwork has been an issue his entire career).
What do you think BoltFam? Do you agree with Philip Rivers or should we show Clary the door just like we did it for Big Lazy?
Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.