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Why Russell Okung is "Excited" to Reunite with Michael Schofield

It was only a year ago that Russell Okung and Michael Schofield were teammates, starting the 2016 season side by side in Denver. 

Now, the pair reunite once again. Only this time, they’ll kick off the 2017 season by going against the Broncos while wearing the same Chargers uniform.

“I’m excited to see Michael again,” Okung said after the Bolts were awarded the 6-6, 301-pound lineman off waivers. “He’s definitely a team guy, and he’s going to help our offensive line quickly.  One thing fans will learn right away is that (if) a guy goes down, they won’t have to worry about much.  Michael is reliable.  He’ll know the scheme and will be helpful for what we are trying to accomplish. He understands exactly what will be asked of him.  He can play multiple (spots) – both tackle positions and both guard positions. So, he’s a very versatile guy who has a lot of different unique skillsets.”

He’s also dependable, which is why Okung believes he’ll fit in with what Offensive Line Coach Pat Meyer preaches.

“Coach Meyer wants guys who are dependable and coachable,” the left tackle explained. “That’s Schofield. He can learn quickly, which is important since he’s coming in (shortly before the season). He definitely brings what we are looking for into our room.”

Originally a third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Michigan, Schofield has started all 29 games he’s appeared in.  That doesn’t include the postseason, in which he was a pivotal member on the Broncos offensive line that helped win Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.

Thus, Okung was the newbie when the pair last played together.  He recognizes the irony that he is now tasked with getting Schofield up to speed, eager to acclimate him into the fold as soon as he arrives at Hoag Performance Center this week.

“In my opinion, the best thing I can do is let him know he’s accepted here.  I’ll be there to answer any questions he has about scheme. But really, for me, I (do that by) how I work.  So we’ll be an example and continue to work hard every day.  That's what is being asked of our group, so I think he’ll assimilate quickly.”

While Okung is excited to see Schofield in a Chargers uniform, he couldn’t help but laugh, knowing exactly what else he’ll be seeing again around the facility.

“He's an obsessive Michigan fan, and he has a full Michigan suit that he’d to wear on game days. So I’m sure I’ll see that again!”

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