The Evolving Opinion of Jeromey Clary

Jeromey Clary is one of those San Diego Chargers that could start a fight amongst fans if you find two guys on the opposite sides of the equation. Once the name "Michael Oher" gets screamed, you know it's heading downhill fast.

Personally, I always thought Clary was an adequate player at a position where you don't need to be much more than adequate. He is a pretty good run-blocker and showed signs of being a pretty good pass-blocker this season after returning from injury. He was good enough to hold off up-and-coming Brandyn Dombrowski, who looked like he was being groomed to take over at Right Tackle during the Chargers bye week.

Pro Football Focus is a website I like to visit from time to time. Similar to Football Outsiders, they chart every player on every play of every game during the season and use mathematical equations to figure out "ratings" for each player before ranking them. One reason to visit, and consider becoming a member, is that it's one of the few places that gives game-by-game ratings to offensive linemen around the league. Given how difficult that is, we can't assume they're 100% accurate, but considering they're on the same playing field we can assume it's close.

Here is how they rate Clary, cumulatively, for the last three seasons:

2010: -12.6, -0.78 average (51st amongst OTs). The only O-lineman on the Chargers who was worse than him was Brandyn Dombrowski, who had the worst-rated game PFF ever recorded against Seattle.

2009: 5.6, 0.56 average (26th amongst OTs). The only Chargers O-linemen that were better than him were Scott Mruczkowski and Louis Vasquez.

2008: -4.2, -0.23 average (47th amongst OTs). The worst Chargers O-lineman, by quite a bit.

So, according the PFF, Clary is one of the most consistent OL that the Chargers have. However, he's not that great. This is not news. The question now becomes, or perhaps always was, is RT a position that needs to be upgraded?

Think about it. The Chargers offense is already among the league's best, and Clary is one of the cheaper RTs in the league. He can be counted on to be consistent, usually healthy and work well with the rest of the line. He's also a bit of a leader, on a line full of them. Replacing him with someone who is better is going to require a high draft pick (meaning lots of money, and using it on offense when it's more needed on defense), and could screw with the stability of the line as a unit.

The other option is to bring him back for another year, as a Restricted Free Agent he should remain affordable, and let Tyronne Greene and brandyn Dombrowski battle it out for the job in 2012.

What do you guys think the Chargers should do at the RT spot?

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