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NFL San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers Add Blocking TE With Signing of John Phillips

John Phillips San Diego Chargers

Soobum Im-USA Today Sports

The San Diego Chargers had a terrible rushing attack in 2012, as they ranked 31st in yards per attempt and were tied with the Oakland Raiders for last with four rushing touchdowns.

A major problem for San Diego was the decline of Ryan Mathews who averaged a career low 3.8 yards per attempt to go along with a career low one rushing touchdown.

San Diego’s offensive line was terrible in 2012 which contributed to the problems of run blocking as well as breakdowns in pass protection.  San Diego allowed 49 sacks in 2012 which ranked fourth in the NFL.

The front office attempted to solve this problem by signing former Philadelphia Eagles guard and tackle King Dunlap to a deal yesterday.  An offensive lineman is expected to be chosen in the draft as well.

While fans have seen tight ends play like wide receivers, their blocking ability should be the top priority.  San Diego’s front office signed former Dallas Cowboys TE John Phillips to a three year deal yesterday.

Phillips tore his ACL in 2010 and missed the entire season, but he played in all 16 regular season games for Dallas in 2009, 2011 and 2012 while making 20 starts.

It is primarily the job of an offensive line to protect the quarterback, but when two tight end sets are used, one of them needs to block a linebacker or a blitzing defensive back.  Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green are not known for their blocking skills, so the addition of Phillips should help the Lightning Bolts.

San Diego’s front office released veteran TE Randy McMichael yesterday before they signed Phillips. McMichael is 33 years old while Phillips is 25, which may have contributed to the decision.

The front office knew that adding players who could protect San Diego QB Philip Rivers as well as block for Mathews was important.  San Diego’s front office does not intend on spending too much money in free agency, but the signings of Dunlap and Phillips make sense for this team.