Our first player in the LA Chargers Bolt from the Past series is Marcus McNeill.
Welcome to the inaugural post of a new deep dive into some of the LA Chargers of the past! Our Bolts have been around for a long time and its easy to forget a few players along the way, the goal of these is to refresh the memories of better times (or worse) and truly bring back some nostalgia. With that being said the first person we are going to take a look at today will be a former left tackle, Marcus McNeill.
The LA Chargers selected Marcus McNeill out of Auburn, 50th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, the seventh lineman taken.
Despite having a great college career injury concerns plagued him throughout the entire draft process making it quite a feat for teams to think about selecting them with a premium pick. Though the Chargers decided to take a flier on the prospect and easy enough to say it worked out.
Throughout McNeill’s first, two years of his career he was a standout. Playing all 16 games both years as well as not allowing a single sack off his side as well as committing only nine penalties total.
He distinguished himself early on as an elite tackle, keeping Philip Rivers up and allowing LaDainian Tomlinson to run through the trenches. These stellar numbers allowed him to come in fifth place in Rookie of the Year voting, as well as become Pro-Bowl alternates both years.
McNeill continued to play at a good level for the next two years, staying relatively healthy as well as committing little to no penalties for the offensive line and still being a force to be reckoned with until 2010 hit.
At the beginning of the 2010 season, McNeill held out from camp looking for an extension which he got, signing a six-year $48 million deal. Though the downfall of it all came when he was constantly hurt throughout the rest of the seasons to come. Proving the doubters at the draft right, that at some point the injury bug would come back to haunt him.
McNeill announced that he would be retiring On August 9, 2012, after the Chargers had announced that they would be parting ways with the veteran, leaving behind a five-year career with 2 Pro-Bowls.
In such a short time it is easy to forget a player who didn’t leave a hall of fame impact though it is very important to remember the players who played their hearts out for the short amount of time they got.