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Chargers 2015 Lineman of the Year Taking Nothing for Granted

Take a look at photos from Joe Barksdale's 2015 season with the Chargers.

On the precipice of a brand new season for the offensive line, everyone is well aware that the unit was ravaged by injuries a year ago. 

Though Joe Barksdale faced his share of bumps and bruises, he became a stalwart on the team's line starting all 16 games – the only lineman to do so.

What does that say about Barksdale's work ethic?  According to the humble right tackle, not as much as he believes some of his success was due in part to luck.  While escaping the season relatively unscathed, the right tackle is motivated to be known for more in 2016 beyond appearing in every contest.

"It doesn't say much, it really doesn't," Barksdale said.  "At the end of the day, we had some unfortunate situations the guys couldn't avoid and it could have just as easily been me.  I don't take it for granted and now, I'm just trying to show up and do what I can."

In addition to starting all 16 games at right tackle, Barksdale played both sides of the line in 2015, having to switch to left tackle at times.  His steady play earned him Chargers' 2015 Lineman of the Year honors, something Barksdale said "meant the world" to him.

"It's an honor to have your teammates recognize you for your efforts.  It was also motivation to keep striving to get better every day I come to work."

The Bolts rewarded Barksdale in March with a four-year contract inked days before number 72 was set to hit free agency.  It's clear why the Chargers weren't going to let him get away.  In 2015, Barksdale played the second-most snaps on the team next to Philip Rivers and was never called for a holding penalty.

With the offseason in full-swing and health abundant on the line, Barksdale is pleased with how things have gone throughout OTAs and Mini Camp.

"I can't speak on everybody and every position group, but from what I've seen with the guys I work with, everyone has bought in.  You can tell it means something this year and it's been going really well."

As for buying in, with training camp around the corner, Barksdale said he's looking forward to building camaraderie with his fellow linemen.  Regarding his personal goals, he's looking to continue to build on his performance last season and carry that into 2016.

"As a unit, you can always be closer.  You can always get tighter and we're still working on that.  As a person, just looking at the last few weeks of practice and seeing what I need to work on, (I'll continue) that process of daily improvement."

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