To Solomon or Not to Solomon

Solomon Page visited the San Diego Chargers just before the draft and he was offered a contract, yet he declined and negotiations were to begin anew the Monday after the draft. Well what happened?

Solomon Page was in fact in the mix before the Draft, the Chargers felt they could sign him quickly and focus on other areas come draft day. Then the draft came and they got a huge hulking specimen in Courtney Van Buren and three players they targeted for the offensive line in undrafted free agency.

The Chargers wanted to get through their rookie orientation with the new acquisitions and see what they had, so last week became a wash on the "Solomon Watch".

The agent for Page could not be reached for comment.

This week, the Chargers are feeling they have the upper hand.

The three players who have pushed Page onto the backburner are:

Alex Tuttle, an offensive tackle that can also play guard from Northwest Missouri State, said, "I know that I was No. 1 on coach (Hudson) Houck's list," Tuttle said. "There was a chance that they might pick me up in the seventh round."

Tuttle, an All-MIAA selection, was actually relieved when he made it through the draft. That enabled him to choose where he wanted to go, so he picked San Diego because of the money and its offensive line situation.

"I'm real excited," Tuttle said.

Phil Bogle, an offensive tackle who won the Jim Langer Award for most outstanding offensive lineman in the Cactus Bowl All-Star game said, "I was doing all my drills down in Texas at tackle and the scouts were telling me to take some snaps at guard," said Bogle. "Because, height-wise, tackles are usually 6-6, 6-7 in the NFL. But I think I can (make the switch) and I think playing guard would be a lot easier. I don't know why, but I'd rather block Warren Sapp than Simeon Rice. I think Warren would get tired before Simeon because the inside guys get worn down quicker."

The confidence of Bogle earned him a visit from Hudson Houck in Parisi Speed School in Fairlawn, N.J, a town I used to live in coincidently.

Tony Terrell, a guard out of UNLV, who feels he has something to prove this year.

"I was really depressed after the draft," said Terrell. "It was real tough sitting there. Real tough."

The signing with San Diego brought a little relief to the local product.

"I'm just thankful that it all worked out at the end," said Terrell with a sigh.

That is without even mentioning the possibility of Cory Raymer moving outside from his center position to compete for playing time. In essence the Chargers gained five offensive linemen this offseason and the hesitation may have cost Page.

Add to that the word out of Dallas that Solomon Page dogged those after-practice sprints. A quality the Chargers are not enamored with and you have your answer. The Bolts are trying to bring in strong character guys who will work for the opportunity to play and three undrafted guys want it more than anyone.

As Phil Bogle said, "It doesn't matter where you play, but how you play."


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