LA Chargers News

LA Chargers countdown to 2020: Best number 68 in team history

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

There are 68 days until we see the LA Chargers back in action.

Counting today, there are officially 68 days until the LA Chargers kick-off their 2020 season in Week 1 against first overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. That is, as long as everything goes as planned for the 2020 season.

To count down the Chargers being back in action, we have been naming the best Charger players to wear every number that coincides with the number of days remaining. Ironically, the only current player to be the best to wear his number was Sam Tevi of all people with the number 69.

The best number 68 is not a current Charger but he is a recent enough Charger that even younger fans will know his name. He was a key part of the team’s most successful period and as critical in protecting Philip Rivers.

Best number 68 in LA Chargers’ history: Kris Dielman

The LA Chargers signed Kris Dielman as an undrafted free agent after the 2003 NFL Draft. There was a natural connection between Dielman and the Chargers, as the offensive coordinator at the time, Cam Cameron, was Dielman’s head coach at Indiana.

However, Cameron did not coach Dielman in his last two seasons at Indiana, where the team converted him to playing more on the defensive line than the offensive line. That was not the plan when he signed undrafted with the Chargers.

The Chargers converted him back to the offensive line and the results were fantastic. Dielman did not start in his first two seasons in the NFL but was granted the starting role in year three and never lost it for the rest of his years as a pro.

RELATED: Legendary numbers that deserve to be retired

Dielman instantly came in and was a big upgrade on the offensive line and was immediately an above-average NFL guard. Not only was he above-average right away, but he continued to get better as well.

Dielman peaked from the 2007 season to the 2010 season, where he was named a Pro Bowler in all four seasons and had three seasons in which he had an Approximate Value over 10.

That is what earned him the honors of being the best ever number 68, as his 73 career AV is significantly higher than any other player to wear 68 in Chargers’ history.

Dielman retired at the young age of 30 after a concussion with his own health and safety in mind, which is absolutely the right choice every single time. He definitely had the talent to keep going, though, and would have gone down as one of the greatest offensive linemen in team history.

Next. The best number 69 in team history

He is still up there pretty high on the leaderboard, though, and is by far the best player to wear his number.

facebooktwitterreddit