Barring injury, Jeromey Clary will not see game action this season. However, he very well could be counted on to contribute next year. Leander Jordan, the team's current third tackle, is in the final year of his contract and is unlikely to be re-signed. Also, it remains to be seen if Roman Oben will be able to fully recover from his plantar fasciitis.
The 6-foot-6, 304 lb. Clary feels he is physically ready to succeed on the professional level. Now, he is working on developing his game acumen.
"The mental part is the hardest, adapting to the complexity of the defenses in this league," he said. "I'm trying to study a lot of film and focus on learning those types of things."
Clary's attitude is impressive. Rather than being down on himself for not making the active roster, he is seizing the opportunity in front of him.
"I think being on the practice squad is a good experience for me," he said. "I'm still only 22 years old, so this gives me a chance to adjust to the NFL."
The Chargers are counting on Clary's continued development. Although Marcus McNeill and Shane Olivea are likely the team's bookend tackles for the foreseeable future, the Chargers frequently rely upon their third tackle. Not only is that player the first off the bench incase one of the starters goes down, but he is also used in jumbo packages when the team seeks to establish the run.
"If I were the third tackle, I think that's something I could definitely do," said Clary of participating in the team's elephant package.
As the season progresses, fans will focus solely on how the Chargers perform on Sundays. But it is the tireless work that players like Clary put in midweek that ensures this team will remain successful for years to come.