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Offensive Line Beginning to Take Shape
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The Chargers muddled offensive line situation is beginning to take shape.
On Monday, head coach Norv Turner called it a mystery when asked who would be lining up to protect Philip Rivers. But Wednesday’s practice gave good indication of who will comprise the first-team offensive line this Sunday in Pittsburgh. Newly signed Reggie Wells was lined up at right tackle, Louis Vasquez at right guard, Nick Hardwick at center, Rex Hadnot at left guard and Kevin Haslam at left tackle. Still, Turner cautioned that the lineup is not set in stone and is subject to change.
“Honestly, we’re working through it right now,” he said. “Some of it depends on Mike Harris and how he is in terms of his recovery. He’s made progress so we’re kind of working through it today. But Wells worked today at right tackle and Haslam worked at left tackle and at right tackle.” Read
Haslam entered last week’s game against the Bengals early when Jeromey Clary injured his knee during the Chargers opening possession. He played the remainder of the game at right tackle, but did say he’s equally as comfortable manning the left side. Read
“It doesn’t make a difference to me where I line up,” he said. “I’ve been here long enough to know either side, so I should be fine either way.”
Wells, however, admitted he’s far more accustomed to playing the right side than the left, though he too said he is capable of playing both positions.
“When I’m at tackle, I’ve actually played more at right since I’ve been in the league than at left tackle,” he said. “At guard, that’s where the majority of my starts have been at right guard with Philly, Arizona and Carolina. And as far as tackle, that’s where the majority of my snaps have been.”
Although Wells noted it would be a new situation for him to sign with a team and start just a few days later, he did say it would be far easier having been with the team earlier this year .
“It’s a unique situation for me,” he said. “I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened around the league or even with this team. But I kind of gear myself to be more prepared mentally than physically. That’s the first step in the battle. And I know the team well. This is a good opportunity. I enjoyed my time here. It may not have been the longest time, but I enjoyed it. Thankfully I was able to get a strong grasp of the offense the last time I was here and that will help me.”
Who ends up playing in what position on the offensive line depends a lot on whether Harris recovers from his sprained ankle in time to suit up. If he doesn’t, it seems the team has a plan in place that involves Haslam on the left and Wells on the right against the Steelers. Read