Kris Dielman will return for his fourth season as a full-time starter on San Diego's offensive line.
A former Pro Bowler whose strong, bulldozing style has been a fixture for the Chargers since 2003, Dielman has been a big, mostly uncredited contributor to the so far excellent careers of players like LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers.
In 2008, Dielman started 15 games, missing time in Week 12 due to a stomach virus. The Chargers would go on to lose that game.
His work included but was not limited to helping the team set a franchise record in rushing for a single game (289 yards against Denver, Week 17) and being selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.
Pros: An incredibly intense player who plays hard on every single down despite what the score and game situation might be, downhill style of blocking plays a factor in opening up running lanes, equally adept for protecting left side of line against pass rushers, very durable despite physicality of position and playing style.
Cons: Not a "whistle to whistle" guy in that he sometimes continues his activity beyond the end of the play, resulting in penalties, discipline can be a factor at times, as was evidenced by his ejection last season for throwing a punch, constantly under referee surveillance for aforementioned behaviors.
Season Outlook: San Diego can expect very few problems out of the left side of their line with Dielman anchoring it in 2009. The 310-pound lineman out of Indiana is a sure bet to keep opposing defenders at bay, giving the backfield peace of mind.