The San Diego Chargers chose former Michigan Wolverines left guard Steve Schilling in round six of the 2011 NFL Draft. According to U-T San Diego beat writer Michael Gehlken, Shilling is learning how to play center, which could save his spot when San Diego cuts the roster to 53 players.
First-string center Nick Hardwick has been helping Schilling with this process. According to Gehlken, Schilling said “Before practice, (Nick) said he’d be watching. There are different techniques when you’re at center. The guys are right on top of you. The little tips he knows helps me out.”
Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said “we’re going to rotate guys all around. Let as many guys get as much work as possible. See what we can find. You never know … This is the time to try it.”
Schilling has had ups and downs with San Diego since being chosen by the organization, and was placed on waivers in September of that year, but was signed to the practice squad two days later. He started a game at right guard against the Chicago Bears in 2011 and started a game at left guard against the Denver Broncos.
In August of 2012, Schilling was released by San Diego, but was re-signed in early December and played in two games last season. He has been practicing as San Diego’s second-string RG and third-string center. According to Gehlken, Schilling has seen some time with the special teams as well.
San Diego’s offensive line performed poorly in 2012, which is why McCoy and his coaching staff want guys to be versatile in case there are injuries or players who are struggling this season. If Schilling makes the 53-man roster, it will be due to his dedication of learning a new position, which will provide depth on San Diego offensive line in 2013.