Deuces Wild

The San Diego Chargers contend that Bob Hallen was an easy choice. There is a reason why but he was not the only offensive lineman to tryout for the team this week.

Dennis Norman, a center out of Princeton, worked out for the Chargers this week.

He was waived on October 17 by the Seattle Seahawks so they could add a punter. The backup center had very little game experience despite being in the league for four years.

The former tight end was inactive for 29 games between 2002 and 2003 and his sole playing experience in 2003 came on special teams. He was originally a seventh round pick in 2001 by the Hawks, ending an 11 year drought in which Princeton players did not hear their name called.

At 6-5, Norman played most of his college career at right tackle before moving inside in the NFL. He missed his freshman year in college due to a broken leg and came back to be named first-team All-Ivy League his final three seasons.

Norman was also a Championship discus thrower in college.

Thatcher Szalay, a 6-foot-5 center/guard, came in for a tryout this week.

Szalay, a second-year player from Montana, injured his wrist in training camp while playing with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was waived on September 1 by the Bengals and reverted to the Bengals injured-reserve list when he was not claimed by another team. On September 21, Szalay was waived for good.

Szalay was the only college free agent to make the Bengals in 2003. He played in one game as a rookie and did not suit up in 2003, spending most of the season on the practice squad.

Szalay was one of just two offensive line underclassmen to be named a First-Team All-American in 1999. Szalay was a unanimous selection to the Big Sky All-Conference first-team in 2000 as well, marking the second straight year that the guard had been a first-team choice.

When given those options, it was easy to see why the Chargers elected to go with veteran Bob Hallen.

The most interesting aspect of it all is that Szalay was placed on injured reserve by the Bengals but is fine to workout and sign with a team? Sounds fishy on all sides, especially for Cincinnati.

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