Last year's starting five right to left of Sam Tevi, Michael Schoefield, Mike Pouncey, Dan Feeney and Russell Okung understandably receive the lion's share of pub. That's only natural when they're the ones battling in the trenches week in, week out.
Then there's Forrest Lamp, the team's talented 2017 second-round pick whose potential and future is discussed nonstop by fans and pundits alike.
However, there's an unheralded, up-and-coming member of the o-line who isn't getting the recognition he deserves.
We're talking about Trent Scott.
A 6-5, 320-pound tackle who singed as an undrafted free agent a year ago out of Grambling State, Scott impressed mightily to the point where he not only earned a spot on the 53-man roster, but emerged as a key reserve.
All he's done since then is continue to turn heads, earning some lofty praise from Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt toward the end of minicamp. In fact, Whiz discussed him at length in as much detail as anyone this offseason.
"He didn't say much (when he got here last year)," Whisenhunt said. "He just worked hard. I think when you have a young player where you put him in positions in game and they continually, consistently, don't mess up, that gets your attention. For young guys, a lot of times, it really is (a) tremendous amount of (reps in) OTA practices. We've had a few minicamp practices, but you put them in there (during an actual game) and you run some of the plays they haven't seen yet and they struggle because it's a different technique, they're going against different players. The ones that can get in there and be successful on those opportunities are the ones that stand out, that make it and that's what Trent did."
Whiz's approval of Scott didn't end there.
"Every time Trent entered a situation last year, whether it was with the threes, the twos, even in some instances with the ones, he handled it. Then we threw him into the game as a starter — he came from Grambling as a free agent — and he played well. When you create a track record of doing that, that's where you say this guy is pretty good and we're lucky that we have him. That's what this whole process is about with our guys. It's stressing them, seeing how they react to that stress and the ones that can be successful in that they block, those are what you're always looking for. We've had really good competition and it's great to have guys like Trent."
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That's high praise indeed.
So, what does Scott have to say about Whisenhunt's assessment as well as his role moving forward?
Let's just say he isn't resting on his laurels, dedicated as ever to improving his craft to prove those words correct. Like any competitor, Scott wants to take his game on the path to further success. While it's simple, that doesn't mean it's easy.
"I'm really just focusing on technique," he said regarding his current goals. "The small things. Fine-tuning the game and trying to be more of a student of the game. Really working on those things in practice."
To that end, it sure helps fine-tuning your craft against the likes of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. No disrespect given, but that's a stark difference than who he spared against while at Grambling State.
"That's the best thing that could have happened to me," Scott said "Getting to practice against those guys on a daily basis? You don't get that many places. You have no choice but to get better going against those guys and top talent like that every day."
Overall, Scott appeared in nine games during his rookie campaign, including his first ever start when he manned right tackle in the Chargers' 26-10 Week 5 win over the Oakland Raiders.
"You have to have the mindset that you're not just a backup," he explained. "Last year I stayed ready at all times. You have to be ready for anything because anything can happen. Anyone can get injured at any time, so you just have to stay ready. You always have to take the approach to the game that you are the starter so when the opportunity comes, you don't have to try to get ready. You already are. That's why that (Raiders) game went well. I was prepared, and I think I did pretty well. I didn't know if I was going to start that week, but I did, and I was ready."
With that type of attitude it's no wonder the Chargers relish having Scott as someone they can call on in a pinch.
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