I've got a lot of confidence in Brandyn(Dumbrowski)," Norv Turner Commented yesterday, "His guy has not gotten close to the quarterback."
Conversely,Every year, it is the constant and same refrain from old fogies like Lee Hacksaw Hamilton who are still stuck in the Woody Hayes Era of football. "What about the Offensive Line?", "Rivers is going to get killed etc...We won't be able to run the ball!"
It was however, refreshing, to hear former Charger,Billy Ray Smith's(Hamilton's radio 1090 counterpart),comment on this issue on Channel 8 Saturday. Smith seemed to think the kid(Dumbrowski), was alright!
Last year Brandon Dombrowski filled in for the oft injured Marcus McNeil. Another inexperienced linemen-Scott Mruczkowski, did a yeomen's job, filling in for the injured Nick Hardwick at Center for a major chunk of the season. The Center is arguably the second most important O line position, after Left Tackle. There was no wide spread panic when Dielman went down, why the worry now?
Alas, there is no panic with the people in the know this year either--Phillip Rivers yesterday--"From my standpoint and the locker room's standpoint, there is no panic whatsoever. At the same time, I say that with all respect to Marcus and the player that he is and we'd certainly love to see him at some point."
Now I know that McNeil must feel slighted by General Manager, AJ Smith, but business is business and for AJ, it is business as usual. The best thing for McNeil to have done is show up in camp and honor his contract and build up his value for the future. He should have consulted with Antonio Gates, who was also suspended in '05, yet came to terms.
AJ is the NFL's GM version of a traffic court Judge. If the Cop(AJ), shows up which you know he will in AJ's case, you are not going to get the outcome you were desirous of-Don't these Agents have any Common Sense? In any event, what does McNeil have to gain by the continued holdout? He will only lose more money.
Ryan Mathews is running for 5 yards a crack, albeit in Pre-season. In the Post-Season, LT never did anything. Could it be that Norv and AJ have thought this out? Dombrowski is the better run blocker. How about a revamped running game this year?
If the Chargers had a running game last year, please, no more excuses from the LT apologists,the Jets game would have never been in doubt. With Mathews run-style(downhill), the Bolts have a running game again!
Phillip Rivers is leading the team now. The Great Debate over AJ's tactics will be a distant memory when the Chargers have another great regular season again. It will be a distant memory, both Vincent Jackson's and Marcus McNeil's holdouts, when the Chargers are once again playoff bound. Then we will recognize that Norv Turner was not just paying lip service to his employers with his comments listed above.
As far as the NFL power structure, it has clearly shifted back to the NFC. Manning and Brady are not the forces they once were. Phillip Rivers is in his Prime, and the Chargers have to once again be clear favorites in the AFC West, if not for best record overall with the rest of the Conference going downhill.
Besides, if the "Blindside" is so important why did Michael Oher get moved to Right Tackle? Maybe the Coaches and Players know something that the Pundits don't?