How bad are the offensive line issues?
The biggest question heading into the preseason is the same one that loomed over the team following the close of last season. Can the team win it all with this offensive line?
If the unit doesn’t improve greatly over what we saw in the divisional round of the playoffs against the New England Patriots, the answer to that question is an emphatic no. The team didn’t go out of its way to make too many changes to the group either.
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Trey Pipkins was drafted in the third round, but he is widely considered a project player for down the road. Sam Tevi will likely still be the guy at right tackle and now, Russell Okung is likely out for a significant amount of time.
So what does that mean? The team still has a shaky starter at right tackle and will likely need a different starter at left tackle for at least part of the season. The team may end up reshuffling their offensive line and it could look quite a bit different than many projected.
The key player in that conversation is going to be Forrest Lamp. If he can finally get on the field and be the guy the team thought it drafted two years ago, then these perceived issues may not end up being that bad.
But just to play devil’s advocate, if Lamp doesn’t pan out and is benched or made inactive, like he was most of last season, and the Chargers have an offensive line that looks something like Trent Scott at left tackle, Dan Feeney and Michael Schofield at guard, Mike Pouncey at center and Tevi at right tackle, for example, then look out, because things could get ugly.