Connelly on Britt: "A team leader"

The Chargers went into this year's draft desperately needing to add quality depth to their offensive line. Their first move in that direction was selecting offensive tackle Wesley Britt from the University of Alabama. After speaking with Bob Connelly, Britt's former offensive line coach, it became clear that this selection may soon exceed all expectations.

"I think the team and the fans will be very pleased with getting him where they got him," offered Connelly. "It's been unfortunate the last two years with the injuries. Back two years ago he hurt his leg in a game against Tennessee. It was a compound fracture, but the way he rolled up his ankle...it could have happened to anybody. I mean his injuries aren't genetic or anything like that."

In fact, Connelly feels that the injuries helped reveal even more about Wesley Britt's remarkable work ethic. The way he battled to get back on the field impressed Connelly to no end.

"To his benefit, he really busted his tail to get back on the field for game one of his senior year," Connelly said. "I really had little expectation of him really contributing anything significant until about midseason, but he really dedicated himself and put in a lot of work with our strength and conditioning coaches."

While Britt's early contributions may have been a surprise, the work he put in the get back in the game surprised no one. Britt was always known to possess a superb work ethic and an incredible drive to improve.

"He's really dedicated," Connelly said. "You'll never have to tell him to gitty up; you might have to tell him to whoa one in a while. He has a great passion for the game, and a great understanding of the game."

It is that passion and understanding for the game which has Connelly convinced that Britt will succeed at the next level, no matter where he lines up.

"I think in the NFL he has the versatility to play on either side of the line," predicted Connelly. "He has the athleticism and the agility to play on the left side, although he's not really a prototypical left tackle. He'll probably make a better right tackle, because he has very good run blocking skills."

Another advantage Britt will have in his transition to the NFL is that the offense run by Cam Cameron has many similarities to the offense he played in while in college. Although Connelly admits the playbook will be larger and more advanced in San Diego, the thinks the familiarity with system will help Britt a great deal.

"They run a very similar offense in San Diego to what Coach Shula uses over here, so hopefully there'll be a lot of carry over for him."

Just as Connelly sees Britt having great value to the Chargers on the field, he feels his off the field contributions can be just as significant.

"He's an exceptional person," Connelly said. "He's a team leader, a spokesperson, and kind of a locker room attorney. Players look to him when they need answers on different things. He's a natural leader."

After coaching Britt throughout his college career, Connelly is convinced that he was an excellent pick by the Chargers, and one that will do their offensive line and their team an immense amount of good.

"He's tough and has a very aggressive nature," Connelly said. "I think he'll make the staff and the city very proud."

Lightning Quicks:

Texas Rangers TV play-by-play man Josh Lewin has spoken with San Diego Chargers officials about becoming their radio voice. He is expected to speak with Rock 105.3 on Monday in regards to the job.

Michael Lombardo can be reached at Lombardo@SanDiegoSports.net

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