SAN DIEGO, CA- AUGUST 11: Billy Volek #7 of the San Diego Chargers rolls back into the pocket against the Seattle Seahawks during their NFL preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on August 11, 2011. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Again, I march along with my quest to (hopefully) find out that the San Diego Chargers roster is better than that of the Philadelphia Eagles (who are being referred to as "the dream team" by some). Today, we compare offensive lines...
When it comes to the o-lines, we have a lot less in terms of statistics to compare. I'll make do with what I have.
LT: Jason Peters (3rd year as starter with Eagles)
LG: Todd Herremans (6th year as starter with Eagles)
C: Jamaal Jackson (5th year as starter with Eagles)*
RG: Danny Watkins (1st year as starter with Eagles)
RT: Ryan Harris (1st year as starter with Eagles)
That asterisk is there because this is not really Jackson's 5th consecutive season as the starter at Center. He missed all but one game last year due to injury.
Also, this is a good time to mention that the Eagles went ahead and hired their Offensive Line coach of the last 12 seasons (Juan Castillo) as their Defensive Coordinator for 2011. Read that sentence again. Now one more time, slower. Are you still alive? You probably shouldn't be. The last time Juan Castillo coached defense was in 1989, and that was at Kingsville High School.....so, yeah. Dream team D-coordinator.
Taking over for Castillo is Howard Mudd, also known as the guy who took all the credit for Peyton Manning's incredible pocket-awareness and audibles (that kept him out of the way off pass-rushers) before retiring two seasons ago. So, in addition to having a Center coming back from a season missed to injury and new starters at RG and RT, the Eagles are going to coach up their line with a mediocre O-line coach that they dragged out of retirement (he's 69 years old). Let's add in a QB that holds onto the ball way too long and never stays in the pocket and this is a recipe for disaster.
LT: Marcus McNeill (6th year as starter for Chargers)
LG: Kris Dielman (7th year as starter for Chargers)
C: Nick Hardwick (7th year as starter for Chargers)*
RG: Louis Vasquez (3rd year as starter for Chargers)
RT: Jeromey Clary (4th year as starter for Chargers)
Much like his counterpart, Hardwick's asterisk symbolizes that he's been a part of the organization for longer than those 7 seasons. However, going off which player got the majority of the starts at the position, Hardwick was technically not the starter in 2009 (missing most of the season due to injury).
Hal Hunter is entering his 6th consecutive season as the Offensive Line coach for the Chargers.
Winner: Chargers. A lot of it is because of the consistency, but not all of it. Each season the Chargers line does a better job at protecting their QB than the Eagles do theirs (Donovan McNabb's concussions agree). That's a big deal in a passing offense.
When this was a running offense, the SD line broke all-time records and collected Pro Bowls like they were voted on by the Chargers fans themselves. Actually, between McNeill, Dielman and Hardwick, this offensive line has 7 Pro Bowl seasons. The Eagles have 4, all owned by Jason Peters and half of those earned when he was with the Buffalo Bills.