The Chargers could rely on development from their young left tackle and center this offseason, but do they really want to repeat their mistake from this year?
The Chargers chose to do nothing about the right tackle position this offseason, and as a result, the right side of the line has been a problem all season. In fact, they didn’t add any players along the offensive line via the draft of free agency; at least, anyone projected to start. Trey Pipkins has shown potential, but he was never expected to be a part of the team’s first or second-string unit so quickly. That’s the wild card that is injuries.
Now, the team will once again have a chance to solve the difficult puzzle of putting together a serviceable offensive line.
Not all five starters will be replaced, nor should they be. Of all five starters, Russell Okung is most likely to return to his usual role. On the season, the veteran has not given up a sack, allowing five pressures in six games played. If the Chargers feel No. 76 will not have a recurring issue following his pulmonary embolism, there’s no reason the team should move on from their most consistent piece.
Whether the Chargers move on from Mike Pouncey or stick with Scott Quessenberry at center feels like a coin-toss. Personally, sticking with the younger player from UCLA sounds like the right move, particularly since he’s not allowed a sack all season. However, any fan knows the Chargers have no problem sticking with veterans (especially those who have a bigger paycheck) over less experienced players.
Those two seem to be the most worked out: Okung will start at left tackle with Pipkins backing him up, and either Pouncey or Quessenberry will start at center. Should the Chargers stick with Quessenberry, however, one has to wonder what they’ll choose to do with their veteran center.