San Diego Chargers Have Flexibility with the Offensive Line

By Kenny Gardner
San Diego Chargers
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers allowed 49 sacks last season which ranked fourth in the NFL, and as a result one of the front office’s goals was to improve on this before the 2013 season.

San Diego signed former Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Max Starks, signed former Philadelphia Eagles LT King Dunlap and chose former Alabama Crimson Tide right tackle D.J. Fluker in the draft.

The coaching staff has flexibility this year with the offensive line which was not the case last season when San Diego had one of the worst offensive lines in the league.  Starks was Pittsburgh’s primary starter at LT from 2008-2012 while he was their primary starter at RT in 2005 and 2006.

Dunlap has a small amount of experience at RT so he could be another option should Fluker struggle in his rookie season.  Starks and Dunlap will fight for the starting spot at LT which should be an upgrade over last season and protect the blindside for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

According to Tom Krasovic of, “ESPN scout Matt Williamson suggests a shuffle.  He would move Starks to right tackle, use Dunlap at left tackle and switch Fluker to right guard.”  Williamson’s suggestion was made to maximize Fluker who he feels would play great at RG and be a Pro Bowler.

While success in college does not always translate to success in the pros, Fluker was a First-team All-American RT at Alabama last season so keeping him at RT makes the most sense.  Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said he would have taken Fluker over Unanimous All-American guard Chance Warmack which shows that San Diego was more concerned about upgrading at RT.

San Diego’s front office made a commitment to LT Jared Gaither last year, and when he went down for most of the season with injuries, the team was unprepared to protect the blindside for Rivers.  This was a major problem last year, but the Chargers should have upgrades at LT this season as well as RT.

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