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Runyan pleased to find perfect opportunity

Posted Nov 24, 2009

Newly-signed Chargers offensive tackle Jon Runyan had to be patient, but Tuesday he found a great fit.

After opportunities to find a new home came and went prior to the start of the 2009 season, veteran offensive tackle Jon Runyan was content to be patient and wait for the perfect situation.

That came Tuesday in the form of a first-place team suddenly in need of help at tackle due to injuries. Runyan, a 13-year veteran who had started 192-consecutive games before the Eagles released him this spring, signed a one-year contract with the Chargers.

“It’s unfortunate that a lot of times it takes an injury to get in a position like this, but once the beginning of the season passed, this is the kind of situation I was looking for,” Runyan said. “I was fortunate enough that it worked out here. It’s the right time and right situation and I felt comfortable doing it.”

Runyan (6-7, 330) will fill the roster spot of Jeromey Clary, who will be placed on “Reserve-Injured” Tuesday. Runyan underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in February but believes he’s physically ready to get back at it. He’ll practice with the Chargers Wednesday as they begin preparations for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

“I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in in 10 years,” Runyan said. “I’ve been training that much. It’s my personality; when I do it outside of the football facility, I tend to overdo it. It’s a little more relaxed when you’re in the building all the time. I’ve been going four or five days a week for the past nine months so I’m there (physically).”

General Manager A.J. Smith lauded Runyan’s physical presence and said that the veteran “will be added to the mix” at offensive tackle.

“We are very fortunate that a player of Jon’s experience and ability was available at this time,” Smith said. “He is an outstanding competitor and I have always admired the physical, nasty approach he brings to the field every game.”

In 13 NFL seasons, Runyan has appeared in 223 games, including 21 playoff contests, five conference championship games and two Super Bowls. He began his career with the Houston Oilers and holds the distinction of being the only active NFL player who spent time with the franchise before its move to Tennessee. After four seasons in Houston/Nashville, Runyan signed with Philadelphia where he was a fixture at right tackle for nine seasons. He’ll spend Tuesday night immersing himself in the Chargers’ playbook as he tries to quickly pick up the offense.

“It’s a foreign language,” Runyan said. “But the basis of football is all the same. It’s just a matter of making that transition in your mind. I’m ready to get to work on it.”

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