While he started four games last season after Nick Hardwick was sidelined with an injury, Withrow proved an essential dynamic on the field. After Hardwick went down in Week 6, Withrow stepped in and helped LaDainian Tomlinson register his season-high of four touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders.
During the next four games with Withrow starting, QB Philip Rivers recorded 740 passing yards and even marked his season-high of 309 passing yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11.
C Jeremy Newberry
"Obviously, if Nick was 100 percent and wasn't injured, we probably wouldn't be in this position. But he isn't 100 percent," Turner said.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Newberry (6'5", 315 pounds) enters his 11th season in the NFL and his first in San Diego, despite spending his entire career in the state of California. Prior to signing with the Raiders last season, Newberry spent his previous years with the San Francisco 49ers.
With a desire to grab a blue ribbon and a yearning to stay on the West Coast, Newberry was eager to sign with the Bolts.
"I didn't really even entertain other offers because I'd rather have retired than go to the East Coast and be away from my daughters. I'm not playing financially anymore. I want to win a championship," he said.
One of the toughest players in the NFL, Newberry has logged 104 starts in his career. He shows only reckless abandon on the field, refusing to back down against even the toughest opponents. While he puts forth a fierce effort, Newberry still maintains strong character off the field.
C Nick Hardwick
Newberry has battled chronic knee injuries that have jeopardized his career. Prior to being picked up by the Raiders last season, Newberry played in only 11 games during the previous three seasons.
Even though a fresh face on the Chargers' roster, his power on the field hardly goes unnoticed by his teammates. OG Kris Dielman is encouraged with Newberry's fight.
"He gets after it. He's not scared to pick up a fine here or there. He wants to win. Probably nobody is going to outwork him across from him," Dielman said.
Newberry will not only add depth to the roster, but also demonstrates versatility. He has the ability to play at either guard spot and could even be summoned to play tackle if the Bolts find themselves in a bind. General manager A.J. Smith is pleased with Newberry's knowledge of the game and flexibility on the field.
"It's nice to know that you have got somebody who is a veteran, who is experienced, who can step in there and hold the fort, so to speak, and bring more to the table than just a center," Smith said.
As Hardwick rebounds from his surgery, he leaves Withrow and Newberry in a battle to be his early-season replacement. While training camp presents the opportunity for either player to prove he is a notch above the other, Smith is excited to have two noteworthy options on his side.
"It will be a competition. We'll see what happens in training camp. It makes us feel better, that's for sure to have an insurance policy regardless of how Hardwick recovers," Smith said.
What exactly can the Chargers expect from Newberry? Click here for an Insider scouting report, courtesy of Silver & Black Illustrated's Michael Wagaman.