Options Emerging in San Diego Chargers’ Search for Left Tackle
Don’t call me Nostradamus just yet, but the San Diego Chargers have slowly started to listen to my pleas (aka read my articles) on which left tackles they should pursue on the free agent market. After all, they are the current holders of the worst left tackle situation in all of the NFL so it’s only right that they should start taking some outside opinions on how to rectify the situation.
The two players I am talking about of course are Max Starks (who has been in for a visit) and Winston Justice (who is now officially on the wish-list). While Starks is a logical fit as a stopgap on the left side, Justice may not be a plug and play solution of that caliber. He only has one career start on the left side, and it didn’t go well during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles. On that night, the New York Giants ravaged Philly for a team total of 12 sacks with Justice having difficulties all game long with Osi Umenyiora.
What both of these inquiries say to me, however, is not that the Chargers have necessarily found a solution just yet, but that they are at least looking for one. Last season was tough to watch even for the most dedicated fan of the Bolts as they were routinely abused at both tackle positions surrendering 49 sacks on the season. Quarterback Philip Rivers has to be thankful for these developments as an affirmation that at least this new front office is going to try to provide him with adequate protection.
The selection of D.J. Fluker in last month’s NFL Draft was a step in the right direction, and by all accounts in mini-camp, he is looking like the real deal at the tackle position. That’s why the research on Justice doesn’t make sense unless General Manager Tom Telesco saw something with the Indianapolis Colts last year when he and Justice were together that leads him to believe that the big fella can man the left tackle spot.
There is at least one reason for optimism as to why the Chargers will be better in the trenches than they were a season ago; it can’t get much worse. Hopefully one of these potential signings comes in, checks out medically, and puts their name on the dotted line to get immediately entrenched in the new system with the team.