The San Diego Chargers have had some massive men manning the left tackle position over the past handful of seasons. From Marcus McNeill at 6’7” 336lbs. to Jared Gaither and his 6’9” 340lbs. of laziness, that is quite the mass of humanity at just one position. If the Bolts have it their way, it appears one more large individual will be joining this list for the 2013 season.
Bryant McKinnie protected the blindside of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco during their Super Bowl run in this past season’s playoffs. He had been demoted earlier in the year due to weight issues and sub par play, but the former Pro Bowler had a resurgence and took over the duties at the second most important offensive position during the postseason. At 6’8” 360lbs., defenders have to run a long way to get around McKinnie en route to the quarterback and that is what the Bolts are hoping for in 2013.
McKinnie has been visiting with the Chargers over the past 24 hours, and reports from John Gennaro of Bolts from the Blue have him now taking a physical with the team. Obviously this is a critical step on the path to getting the big man inked to a contract with San Diego in the near future. Shoring up the left tackle spot would be extremely huge for the team even though they signed King Dunlap in free agency and drafted D.J. Fluker this past weekend. Dunlap is at best a serviceable backup and Fluker is hopefully going to replace the much maligned Jeromey Clary on the right side from day one.
Quarterback Philip Rivers was sacked an astounding 49 times a year ago, and that kind of beating can make any quarterback appear to regress. If the Bolts can provide the signal caller once believed to be one of the top five in the entire NFL with protection in the upcoming season, this team could flourish and surprise many in what is supposedly a rebuilding year.
Getting McKinnie under contract soon will allow him to assimilate into the new system that first-year Head Coach Mike McCoy will be installing this offseason. This will get his learning curve right in line with pretty much everyone else on the roster as they are still trying to familiarize themselves with the new coach’s playbook verbiage. If everything checks out with McKinnie’s physical, expect the Bolts General Manager Tom Telesco to offer up a contract soon thereafter.