A new way of thinking

Well it's that time of year for San Diego Charger fans. It's time once again to look forward to Free Agency and the NFL Draft as the Super Bowl is set to be played on Sunday. If you are like me, this has gotten way too familiar. But, here I sit at my PC with newfound optimism that if we can make the right FA acquisitions, draft the right players, and hire the right coaches, we can make that elusive run at 500 ball.

I'm only kidding. We are red blooded Americans and most of us want nothing more than an ass-kicking NFL Football Team. We want a football team that dominates year in and year out. We want a football team that we can be proud of bragging about when we're at work with the fellas on Monday morning.

What the hell else do we need to do to obtain such a fantasy? Our owners spend openly on free agents. Some have paid off, many have not. In recent history, BB (before Beathard), we have had some success through the draft. Our scouts are some of the best at finding talent among Undrafted Free Agents, although I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. We have skilled players at key positions, just not enough of them to go around.

So what needs to be done to right the ship? What can we do to get back on the winning track? Where is the devil when you need him?

Then I had a thought come across my mind. I started thinking about how much this game continues to evolve with every passing season. In the last 5 years we have seen a shift from the best athletes playing on offense, to the best athletes playing on defense. Think about it, there are 6'4" cornerbacks in the NFL today. There are 225lb safeties that can run like a deer and hit like a ton of bricks. Got a 2-gap defensive tackle that can stuff the inside run, collapse the pocket, and apply pressure up the middle? If you do, then you are considered one of the luckier teams.

Now let's shift our attention back to the offensive side of the ball. We all know that there are terrific athletes at the QB, RB, WR, FB, and TE positions.

And yes, you can consider some of the big uglies terrific athletes as well. But, they are few and far between. Let's really look at the NFL offensive lineman:

Most linemen are carrying an extra VW or two around their waist. Can this really be that much of an advantage? Look at how successful and consistent a certain AFC West team has performed with undersized lineman. I'm not suggesting that we need to copy this teams' strategy to a "T". I'm saying let's tweak it a little and take it to another level.

For example, imagine an O-lineman that stands 6'4" and weighs 295, with 8% body fat, and Olympic strength. Now imagine an O-lineman that stands 6'4" weighs 350, 14% body fat, and good strength. Now stop and ask yourself this question:

Which lineman is going to be better at coming off the ball, at pulling and trapping, at adjusting and sustaining, and at hitting a moving target? Who is going to be fresher in the 4th quarter when team needs a 75 yard drive to win the game to get in the playoffs?

I think the answer is an obvious one.

This may or may not be the solution to what this Charger team needs. But, when you think about all of the injuries to the O-line in the last couple of seasons something has to change. It's time for LT to run behind a spectacular and punishing O-line. It's time for DREW BREES to have enough time to check off to his 2nd, 3rd, 4th options on a pass play. It's time for that elite athlete to belong on the Chargers' offensive line.

Kenny Williams can be reached at kennay_28@yahoo.com

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