Where are they now? Cory Lekkerkerker II

Former Chargers OT Cory Lekkerkerker checks in with SDBoltReport.com's Amberly Richardson. Lekkerkerker offers his unique insights on the Chargers' offensive struggles, Norv Turner's rocky start and the competition at tackle.

Amberly Richardson: San Diego's offense is struggling. What are your thoughts on why?

Cory Lekkerkerker: I just think there are some differences in play calling. Norv Turner and Cam Cameron worked together and are very similar. The terminology is almost identical, but people use what they have differently. Cam was with the Chargers from the beginning; he knew exactly how to use LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, and he knew the ins and outs. When you have a new coach, you are still feeling out how to use the players. Turner is a very good coach, I just think there are differences between play callers and how they use what they have.

AR: What were the differences between training camp under Norv Turner as opposed to Marty Schottenheimer?

CL: There were some differences, but pretty small ones that I could tell. Both coaches are pretty similar in style. Schottenheimer was so experienced that he had a different feel as a head coach. The styles of practices were similar.

AR: Did you notice any big differences that would forecast a dip in the Chargers' performance?

CL: Teams take on the characteristics of a head coach and you've seen that in San Diego.

AR: San Diego was your first big league experience. What did you learn?

CL: I learned a lot from some of the veterans. Roman Oben taught me a whole lot and Kris Dielman, too. Pretty much all the guys. Mike Goff was one, too. Even Marcus McNeill when he came in. McNeill has a similar body type to mine, so I could learn how to use my long arms. My time there was good. I learned a lot.

AR: How competitive was training camp in San Diego for a spot on the offensive line?

CL: Very competitive. Especially with me trying to be the backup tackle. I felt like I was put at guard a lot and I wanted to be competing at tackle. I understand that I needed to be versatile. There are a lot of good offensive linemen in San Diego and in Miami. It was competitive, but I feel like God has a way of working things out. The best situation was for me to go to Miami and get a fresh start, especially with the offensive line coach we have out here. Hudson Houck is legendary. Miami was a new opportunity for me. There are no favorites here and no politics involved. If you can play, you will get out there and play. I'm glad that things worked out the way they did.


OT Cory Lekkerkerker
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AR: What do you think made Jeromey Clary more attractive to San Diego?

CL: I feel like I am as good as anybody who I compete with. The Chargers are the only ones who can answer that question. I did my best, I improved as a player. I take a lot of pride in what I do, so that's hard for me, but I would love to prove San Diego wrong some day. I want to make them wish they had me. I would love to become a free agent and have them offer me a contract. That would be the ultimate revenge.

I have respect for Jeromey, but I have a lot of respect for myself and I have a lot of pride. There are a lot of similarities and differences between us. I guess San Diego liked his differences. I'm very confident, but if that's what they feel is the best thing for their team, they have the decision. I just go out there and play.

AR: Why would you want to come back to San Diego?

CL: The city is as nice of a city as you can get, the weather, the city, the people. There are also a lot of young people. The location is very close to home (Chino, Calif.). At the time, I thought San Diego was the ideal situation for me. Living-wise and having fun, it was as about as good of a situation as you can get. Working my way to become a starter wasn't the ideal situation for me. I love San Diego. If I could become a starter out there, I would love to be in San Diego. Right now, all of their linemen are locked up. There is good opportunity for me in Miami.

AR: Are you surprised that Clary is in the No. 3 spot and Oben is inactive on most game days?

CL: Yeah, I think Oben is a good player. I'm not trying to play general manager, but to me it is odd to keep a guy with his age and experience, to not have him suit up and just have him watch and practice with the team. Maybe the Chargers feel like Oben is a player-coach. I've talked to Oben and I think he's healthy enough and able enough to fill an active role. It is San Diego's prerogative, what their GM wants to do. All I can say is that Roman is a good player and could do what is asked of him.

AR: Are you hoping to stick around in Miami after this season or will you test the market?

CL: I don't know exactly. I was claimed off waivers from San Diego, so from what I know, after this year I will be a restricted free agent. Miami has the rights to me, so most likely I'll be back in Miami for next year, which is a good thing. Not to take anything away from the linemen in Miami, but we have some older guys and they may want to bring in some youth and build toward the future. I would love to stay here in Miami. I hope the coaches stick around so I can be part of the rebuilding process. Once I become an unrestricted free agent, I have to look at the business and do the best thing financially.


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