Chargers Thinking O-line and Linebackers

While most San Diego Chargers fans are thinking offensive tackle and defensive line, the Bolts are setting their sights on an offensive guard who also plays tackle and no, it is not Leander Jordan. With Kelvin Garmon testing unrestricted free agency, the Chargers are looking for players that are good enough to start. Would they start over Toniu Fonoti or Phil Bogle – that is a training camp question. Also the team is still looking at several options at linebacker – with more visits to come.

Jeno James is on the list of invitees to visit the Chargers. He visited with the Dolphins on Wednesday and Drew Pittman, his agent wanted to close a deal with the team. The Fins were expected to be the top team in pursuit of Damien Woody but the Detroit Lions have made a strong push to sign the former Patriot. Either way a deal will be in place by the end of the week according to his agent.

The Chargers have expressed mild interest in Woody, but were not ready to get into a bidding war and thus did not invite him for a visit.

James played for the Carolina Panthers over the last four years and actually played left tackle for them back in 2000.

The Chargers are specifically looking for higher character guys that can be true leaders all over the field. James meets those criteria. In that 2000 season, James apologized to his QB, Steve Beuerlein, for allowing multiple sacks. It was just his second NFL start. In total, James started four games at left tackle for the Panthers that year.

Since then, James has moved between right guard and left guard. In 2003, he spent the entire season playing left guard for the Super Bowl bound team. At 6-3, 310 lbs. James helped anchor a line that allowed 26 sacks in '03 and paved the way for Carolina running backs to average 4.0 yards a carry and 2,091 yards.

James, a sixth round pick out of Auburn, has earned a reputation as a hard worker and is considered an up and coming lineman. Teams may, however, be forced to pay more for James based on potential rather than experience.

James is also on the short list to visit the Chicago Bears. If the Chargers get him into town, they will likely make a strong push for him. With so much interest in James as a mid-level type guy, he will continue to have suitors.

En-lightning News:

Eric Barton visited with the club on Thursday and no word on whether the visit went well. He is scheduled to visit with the Minnesota Vikings as well.

In other news, linebacker Marcus Washington was scheduled to visit the Chargers on Monday, but met with the Steelers Thursday before signing with Washington just hours after he left town.

Clark Haggans is scheduled to visit the Chargers, but he is in negotiations to stay in Pittsburgh and has other suitors. With the Steelers entertaining other linebackers, Haggans could make it out west for a visit. He has already visited with the Detroit Lions and New York Giants and was determining whether he would take any more visits after his two town tour.

The Bolts have expressed interest in Billy Volek, but the quarterback is being sought after by at least five teams – with the Titans making the strongest push.


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