Los Angeles Chargers: Emergence of Spencer Pulley could leave Tuerk’s future in doubt
By Travis Wakeman
Not long ago, the biggest problem the Los Angeles Chargers had was arguably the fact that the center position was so weak.
Chris Watt, who was drafted as a guard out of Notre Dame, was tasked with replacing Nick Hardwick, one of the best centers in team history. That experiment didn’t go well, and that would be an understatement.
Looking to find a guy who could play the center position, the Chargers selected USC’s Max Tuerk in the third round of the 2016 draft. Tuerk never played for the team as a rookie after free-agent signing Matt Slauson proved to be a much better option at the time.
The team is completely making over the offensive line this year by releasing players such as King Dunlap, D.J. Fluker and Orlando Franklin. In addition to signing free agent Russell Okung, the team also used high draft picks to select Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney.
It remains to be seen where that leaves Slauson, but the emergence of one other offensive lineman can’t be ignored. Spencer Pulley is making the most of his opportunities and as the team conducts OTAs, he is getting the first-team reps at center, not Tuerk.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers seems fine with this as well.
“I have a great comfort level with Spencer. That’s what he played in college his whole time there at Vandy. Slauson was great there last year, and Spencer played some there in that Cleveland game and a few other times, so I have a good feel with him”, Rivers told Eric Williams of ESPN.
Where that leaves Tuerk remains to be seen, but it won’t look good if the second-year player fails to get on the field again this season.
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Tuerk is from Trabuco Canyon, California and played his college ball in L.A. There is no doubt he’s hoping to become somewhat of a local star who made it big, but he’s got to get on the field for that to happen. Should Pulley prove to be the better option, Tuerk’s best bet is to ride the bench until an opportunity comes up. Though, that opportunity may never come.
The Chargers’ offensive line has been poor in recent years, to say the least. If players such as Lamp and Feeney pan out, could the Chargers suddenly have an embarrassment of riches in that department?