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Chargers Offensive Line a Hot Mess

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Sep 28, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is pressured by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Ryan Davis (59) after he got by tackle D.J. Fluker (76) during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

(POLL AT BOTTOM)

Yeah… I’m on a roll today. I also could have used a picture of Troutman, but I didn’t. We all know he is gone soon. So, let’s focus on the guys who will probably stick around.

First off, King Dunlap is the only player on this line that I have any confidence in. I used to have confidence in Rinehart. Those days are over. I like Ohrnberger.. as a back up. I am most disappointed in D.J. Fluker, though.

I know that isn’t fair. I know he is only in his second year. I know TT put a lot of pressure on him by using the 11th pick on him. But, that’s what happened. I need to see more, and I need to see it fast. Rivers may have injured his hand (again), and it’s a miracle he hasn’t been seriously injured this season.

When we selected Fluker, we knew he would struggle in the passing game. We knew he was going to have a problem with speed rushers. We knew that his strength would be pancaking players in the rushing game. This season, we have run it to the right on numerous occasions, without success. A lot of that can be put on Troutman, Watt, and even Clary’s absence. But, you can’t put it all on that. Fluker has not been doing a good job blocking for this anemic rushing attack. More importantly, the image of pass rushers blowing by him, and sacking Philip Rivers has been a constant this season. We were even treated to that in the first play of the game today. Do you think that sets a tone on the road? The answer is a resounding YES!

I don’t think Fluker will ever be able to handle speed rushers. He’s just not quick enough. But, when you have a talented back like Brandon Oliver consistently being stuffed for a loss on the right side… it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. Many have called for Fluker to play right guard. I resisted, at first. I believed that he was too high of a draft pick to not be locking down the position he was drafted to play. But, I am thinking that we should make the move now, instead of next season. I am willing to bet money that a line of Dunlap (LT), Watt (LG), Ohrnberger (C), Fluker (RG), and Big Willy (RT) will play as good (or better) than what we are seeing now. If Big Willy sucks… Clary will be back soon. I never thought I would ask for Clary to be put back at right tackle, but I.. in fact… just did that.

Whatever they do, this offensive line needs to be addressed immediately. Rivers can not afford to be sacked like he was today… especially on the opening snap. There were times today where there was absolutely no opposition, and the Miami pass rush had a clear path to Rivers. These running backs need help, and holes to run through. I have not seen so many negative plays in my life! Ryan Mathews will help the running game, to some degree… but, using brute force will only get you hurt. There needs to be five guys in front of him, pushing defenders out of the way. That has not happened this season. Changes need to be made.

Do what you’re gonna do… and say what you’re gonna say… start today.

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence.

Peter Thompson

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