Last year, there were a bunch of injuries that occurred in the front five for the San Diego Chargers. In fact, the true starters barely even started together all season!
This is why versatility is very important. And offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris knows it.
He is having DJ Fluker and Chris Watt playing LT and LG while King Dunlap and Chad Rinehart are lining up on the other side of the line in training camp.
The players (and coach) spoke on how the transition was going (per Chargers.com).
“The first day we swapped sides was a little rough, but the second day was even better. It goes to show you to just take coaching,” said D.J. Fluker
“When you can play all positions you understand the entire scheme…(they) are going to be a certain way (and) whether you’re playing guard or playing tackle or playing center,” head coach Mike McCoy said. “We’re making all the same calls but you’re doing it from a different position. You’ve got to understand……. ‘What is your role in this play?’ I think everyone understood that last year on this football team and there’s a lot of guys who hadn’t played a lot of snaps in those positions but because of the work they did get during camp, it helped them in the long run.”
Another benefit to being well versed in all sides and positions is the preparation it gives players for unexpected yet inescapable injuries.
“It’s been really good for our group to kind of switch positions and different situations,” said Chris Watt. “It really prepares us for a game situation if someone were to go down and one of us had to move across to the other side of the ball. It just gets us prepared for that.”
This will help on solving difficult O-line situations later in the season. The Bolts will have versatile lineman, and reliable reserve offensive lineman in Rich Ohrnberger, Chris Watt, and Johnnie Troutman (If Jeromey Clary starts).
GREAT JOB JOE D’Alessandris!!!