Dielman a throwback player

The Chargers are hardly lacking motivation for this weekend's clash against Kansas City. The Chiefs were the last team to beat the Chargers, a 30-27 setback in week seven. Also, this is San Diego's final conference game of the season; it could have tiebreaker implications. To add fuel to the fire, the Chargers still remember Tamba Hali calling them soft after the teams met earlier this season.

One player bent on proving the Chargers are anything but soft is Kris Dielman, a dominating in-line blocker recognized as the fieriest player on a nasty offensive line.

Dielman had a stellar game against the Broncos. Facing a defensive front which routinely featured eight men in the box, Dielman was able to help propel Tomlinson all the way into the record books. When the play call came in before the record-breaking score, he and his fellow linemen knew history was about to be made.

"It is our power play," said Dielman of the call. "We love to call that play. He (Tomlinson) is a king and he should be treated like one."

Tomlinson ran left on the play, as he so often does. Dielman and Marcus McNeill locked up the inside rush, allowing L.T. to break to the outside for the easy score.

"Dielman always says ‘Come behind me,'" Tomlinson explained. "I love that attitude that he has."

Dielman also enjoyed blocking for another Pro Bowl back, leading the way for Lorenzo Neal on a fumble-rooskie which put the Bolts up 14-0 late in the first quarter. Although the call itself was innovative, the Broncos were hardly fooled. Dielman had to seal off defensive tackle Gerard Warren and then dive to chip a linebacker in order to help Neal score.

That kind effort – seen as spectacular in most quarters – is now expected in San Diego.

"It is an attribute to those guys (the offensive linemen) that we are the best team in the red zone, scoring wise," Tomlinson said. "They have to come with their mindset every week to be physical and they have."

It is amazing to think that Dielman was playing defense just four years ago. Although he still has room to improve, he is now a near-complete player. He shows a powerful hand punch in pass protection and has learned to keep his head on a swivel. His run blocking, as cited above, is second to none.

Dielman's fiery play is why the notion of San Diego being soft is now laughable. The Chargers are about as soft as the Chiefs are alive in the playoff hunt, which is not very.

If the Chargers are able to lock up Dielman with a contract extension (which appears likely at this point), they will have a young and powerful offensive line that can dominate for years, the likes of which cannot be seen since…well, since Willie Roaf retired.

Next week, when the Chiefs come to town, our weekly player analysis will break down the performance of outside linebacker Shaun Phillips.

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