Through the first two weeks of OTAs it would be appear that, against the majority of predictions, second-year UDFA Spencer Pulley out of Vanderbilt has the reigns to the starting center job as of right now.
One of the most anticipated themes heading into offseason workouts was that fans would finally get to see last year’s third round pick Max Tuerk in action. After taking what amounted to a “redshirt” year in 2016, Tuerk has worked diligently to rehab and gained sufficient weight in order to hit the ground running once he gets the green light from team officials.
Unfortunately for Tuerk, and his fan club (where I am vice-president), Spencer Pulley was better than most expected and found himself taking 207 snaps in 2016 across three different positions due to the string of injuries throughout the season.
In ESPN Staff Writer Eric D. Williams’ latest edition of his mailbag, he mentions a conversation he had with last year’s starting center Matt Slauson about Pulley. Apparently, Slauson couldn’t help but sing the praises for his teammate’s work ethic and how he is “wise beyond his years.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers had plenty of praise as well for the former commodore. Most don’t know this but Pulley and Rivers’ younger brothers played at Vanderbilt together for a year. Indirectly, this has helped develop a sense of trust between the two.
Again, the Bolts are only halfway through their organized team activities, and jobs are still completely up for grabs. Neither Forrest Lamp nor Dan Feeney have been working with the first-team all that much and it’s obvious how insane it would be if neither snagged a starting spot before the season.
I mean, Kenny Wiggins has seen the lion’s share of reps at right guard.
This guy can’t even catch a pop-fly on kickoff return. (see week 5 game against the Broncos)
As it stands right now, Pulley taking the majority of first-team reps at center can most likely be chalked up to the old saying that “the best ability is availability.”
Chargers fans, more so than anyone else, know how important availability is.