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10 Things to Watch: What's the Right Combo Up Front?

No unit underwent a more drastic change for the Chargers this offseason than the offensive line.

Gone are King Dunlap, Orlando Franklin and D.J. Fluker.

In are Russell Okung and a trio of draft picks in Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney and Sam Tevi.

Meanwhile, last year's center Matt Slauson, primarily lined up at guard this offseason, leaving right tackle Joe Barksdale as the only starter from 2016 in his same position.

Also in the mix are a pair of second-year centers in Spencer Pulley and Max Tuerk, as well as key rotational players from the past few seasons in Chris Hairston, Tyreek Burwell and Kenny Wiggins among others.

So, what's the right combination for the Bolts up front?

The answer will come in training camp and the four preseason games.  Chemistry along the line is paramount, as Philip Rivers has often said having the five men working as one is the key to a smooth-running offense.

Thus, expect to see the Bolts juggle several different variations before settling on the final five-man combo.

A number of factors will lead to final decisions, and new offensive line coach Pat Meyer recently outlined what he demands from his players.  Even though he's stressing a more aggressive approach than the Bolts have had in recent years, especially in the passing game, he explained how most of all, he wants to see a specific demeanor from his players up front.

"When we come back for camp, the number one philosophy is coming to work every day with the right attitude wanting to get better," he said.  "Obviously they are professional athletes who need to know their plays and assignments.  You always look for that, too.  But I look for guys who you can see want to come to work every day to get better. That's the main thing. So, the quality we look for in a lineman here first is the right attitude and demeanor.  Not talking skill level, just attitude.  Also, playing hard and how they finish.  You know what kind of product you are going to get. When you have guys come in with that attitude it makes things easier.  The temperament of a player is important."


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