OT position one of many questions for Chargers

Posted Dec. 27, 2012 @ 7:09 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The expected new regime in San Diego will have to work to repair an offense that fell well short of expectations, but still has talent at the skill positions. Part of the problem this year was the offensive line, including at tackle, where the Chargers’ starting OTs battled injuries and protection issues.

OLT Jared Gaither played in only four games and went on I.R. with a groin injury. Norv Turner didn’t mince words, saying, “We gave Jared every opportunity to be a part of this team, and it just hasn’t worked out.” Gaither, who gave up four sacks in his four games, is due $4.5 million next year, and we hear that the “poor effort” label that has followed him in his career was a factor this season with his health. The new staff will have the challenge of making sure Gaither is healthy, and what they want protecting Philip Rivers’ blind side.

Things haven't been much better on the right side, where Jeromey Clary gave up a career-high 8½ sacks and missed two games with a knee injury, though he is generally solid. The backups for Gaither and Clary indicated a depth issue at the position.

Draft targets remain speculative until we know the new head coach and GM, but offensive tackle is expected to be high on the priority list. Not known for having much mobility, Rivers didn’t help his own cause, but he has been sacked 47 times this season, nine more than his previous career-high. Gaither and Clary, barring injury, would likely be starting in 2013 because of their contracts, unless a new regime wants to go in another direction right away. Regardless, it's a position worth watching in San Diego in the next few months.

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