By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
Most of have heard the term “new brooms sweep clean,” what that means is that when new managers take over in any industry, changes are likely to follow. In regards to the Los Angeles Chargers, as Brandon Staley has been named Head Coach of the team, he’s brought in new coaches and coordinators to infuse his message on the team. He now has brought in new offensive linemen in free agency to improve their sub-par offensive line.
Ever since Pro Bowl Center Mike Pouncey was placed on Injured Reserved in October of 2019 the Chargers offensive line has performed below average by any metrics you care to view. In 2019 and 2020 the league’s average in yards per carry was 4.3 and 4.4 yards per carry respectively, the Chargers rushed for 4.0 and 3.8 yards per carry while being ranked 23rd and 30th respectively. Their total rushing yards in their previous couple of seasons, have them ranked near the bottom of the league at 28th and 18th yards per game.
Addressing the rushing attack of any team in the Nation Football Team will change the entire makeup of a football team. Without resigning former Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon or bringing back Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson the Chargers focused on retooling their offensive line. Their recent signing of former Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley and former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Matt Feiler addresses their offensive line challenges.
Former Ohio State Center Corey Linsley was selected by the Packers in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Linsley has since started in all 99 career regular-season appearances and four NFC Championship games while in Green Bay. In his seventh season, he was the Packers Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee in addition to being named 2020 first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press.
In 2018, The Boardman, Ohio, native was named an alternate for the 2018 Pro Bowl while anchoring the league’s No. 2 rushing attack which averaged (5.01 yards per attempt). In Linsley’s seven seasons with the Packers, they averaged 4.53 yards per carry ranked fourth in the NFL.
I had the opportunity to ask Corey why he chose the Chargers and he shared this with me, “I wouldn’t have decided to come here if it wasn’t for the great things that Bryan (Bulaga) said. The vibe he got from the coaching staff and everything he said meant a lot to me.”
Linsley had this to say in regards to the process of developing chemistry with his fellow offensive linemen, “It’s going to be kind of unique because I don’t know what kind of COVID restriction we’re going to have to deal with. It may sound silly but going out to dinner getting to know the guys… at the end of the day we have to get reps, we got to get on the same page! We got to learn how to communicate effectively in the room, not only on the field… if I see a look one way and a dude sees that another way, being able to translate that from player to player is huge, that’s going to take time, so we got to put in the work!”
Former Bloomsburg (Pa.) University graduate and Strasburg, Pa., native Matt Feiler began his NFL career as an undrafted Free Agent that signed with the Houston Texans. Most recently Feiler started 40 of 46 regular-season games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Named third-team Little All-America honors by The Associated Press Matt Feiler was an integral part of the Steelers offensive line allowing the fewest sacks in the NFL in the past three seasons.
When asked about his route to the NFL as an undrafted Free Agent Matt said the situation, “made me mature pretty fast as a professional, and I’ve, kind of, carried that through my career with me.” He then stated it was the “younger coaching staff, they can kind of relate to us more. Honestly, Shaun Sarrett (former Offensive Line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers) being here, him being a familiar face to me, would make this transition easier and smoother,”when asked about what attracted him to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Not only did the Chargers seemingly solidify their offensive line, in doing so this should enhance the comfort of the league’s Rookie of the Year in Justin Herbert and improve their running subpar running game. Kindly share your thoughts on these additions and let me know what you think about their roster changes. You can reach out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or forward any suggestions on what additional topics or angles you’d like to see discussed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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