Back at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco mentioned that it was a priority this offseason for him and his staff to evaluate the offensive line to find the best starting five.
Well along with trading for guard Trai Turner, the Bolts added another lineman in free agency, agreeing to terms with right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
Bulaga joins the Chargers after 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. As a rookie in 2010, Bulaga blocked along an offensive line that helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV and, in the process, became the first rookie in NFL history to start at right tackle in a Super Bowl victory.
Knowing he and the Packers were going to mutually part ways this offseason, Bulaga hoped the Chargers would be a suitor, and was glad they came calling.
"For me personally, the Chargers were a team that really did stick out in my mind," Bulaga said. "Obviously, with coach Campen being there, it was a really intriguing situation for me."
Chargers offensive line coach James Campen joined the coaching staff this offseason and was with Bulaga for nine of his 10 seasons in Green Bay. Much like Chris Harris Jr. being reunited with defensive backs coach Ron Milus, the familiarity with Campen boded well for Bulaga, and he's excited for what Campen will bring to this line.
"What makes Coach Campen not just a great coach, but a great person to talk to within an offensive line room, is he does have ways he wants guys to do things," Bulaga mentioned. "Footwork and hand placement, things like that. But he also realizes not every guy is built the exact same…. He's not going to fit guys into a cookie cutter mold. He's going to let guys be themselves with what they're comfortable doing. He refines that and really works on the things that you do."
But along with Campen, what else was it that drew Bulaga to the Bolts?
Well, he got a good look at the team first-hand last November and is happy to officially be part of the Chargers in 2020.
"(The Green Bay Packers) played the Chargers last year and they beat up on us pretty good," he said. "So I knew the type of roster that was in place in L.A., I knew the type of guys they had and I knew the team was really talented. So for me, having a familiar face in coach Campen and knowing the way he runs his offensive line room and knowing the talent on the roster, to me, it was one of those teams where I was hoping things would come together and we would be able to work out a deal. Thankfully, we were."
Take a look through the top photos of former Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga as he agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Bolts.