San Diego Chargers Right Tackle Jeromey Clary Deserves the Criticism
It's no secret that the offensive line in San Diego was an issue last season. The left tackle position was a mess after Marcus McNeil was injured and McNeil himself wasn't having a very good season to that point. After Kris Dielman's scary concussion, the team had to dig deep. In total, 12 different lineman started at least one game.
Jared Gaither came in an solidified the left tackle position and the Chargers season turned around from there. It was too little, too late to make the playoffs, but the entire offensive line improved when Gaither came in.
One of only two constants was Jeromey Clary at right tackle and he played every offensive snap in 2011. It's often easy to use the right tackle as the scapegoat when an offensive line struggles. It's just one of the positions that is far too easy to criticize and every mistake is apparent. In Clary's case it was well deserved.
Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Hal Hunter recently gave Clary some credit for his durability and solid play in an article written by Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune. Hunter is trying to shield his player from criticism, but his own comments actually condemn Clary's play.
Hunter had this to say about Clary, "Jeromey Clary plays 70 snaps, and out of those 70 snaps, 66 of them are great plays, and he has four bad plays, and that's all anybody remembers."
While Hunter is spinning this in a positive light, the fact is four bad plays that directly impact the result of the play is bad by league standards. Take ProFootballFocus grades for example, they assign between a +2.0 or -2.0 on every play. Normally the play will fall between +1.0 and -1.0.
Those four bad plays could be a -2.0 each game, but his 66 great plays that don't directly impact the result of the play are graded a 0.0. Not coincidentally ProFootballFocus had Clary graded out at -34.3 last season. That's roughly equivalent to about four bad plays per game.
According to ProFootballFocus, Clary gave up 42 pressures, 7 sacks and 7 QB hits in 2011. That's 56 bad plays over the course of a season and roughly equivalent to 4 bad plays per game. Of all the offensive tackles that played more than 25% of the snaps, Clary was only better than Barry Richardson among right tackles.
Hunter contends that Clary's play never kept the Chargers from winning. He's right, but a right tackle rarely keeps any team from winning. The New York Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens are just a few teams that went to the playoffs with negatively graded right tackles.
It has been said that the right tackle is the worst athlete on the team and it's easy to hide the team's worst offensive lineman at right tackle. Right-handed quarterbacks can see the pressure coming from the right side and teams like guards to pull more than tackles. In effect, the right tackle is little more than a tackling dummy designed to get in the way of the outside rush and engage at least one blocker in the running game.
Hunter knows that his right tackle isn't great and he know he doesn't have to be. In Hunter's mind it's like getting mad at a child that doesn't know any better. Hunter has no reason to demand more from his veteran right tackle because 66 out of 70 gets the job done.
Unfortunately 66 out of 70 doesn't stop the criticism. For the fans to believe in Clary, he'll need to be 69 for 70 and those great plays Hunter talked about? That need to be on the play side.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?