With the offensive line looking bleak, it’s time to turn the Lamp on
With the offensive line looking absolutely terrible against Baltimore the season long question can no longer be ignored, where is Forrest Lamp? I myself along with every other Charger fan have been wondering why the 2017 second round pick has not been playing. Lamp who was considered the best pass blocking lineman in his class tore his ACL in preseason before his rookie season was since medically cleared halfway through this year’s preseason. Now I can understand that since he started his season a bit later than the rest of the team that he would need some extra time to get in shape. After coming off a torn ACL it is even to be expected that the coaching staff would want to break him in slowly. After all coming back from an injury of that magnitude requires not only to be physically cleared but one needs to consider the mental aspect, as he would need to gain confidence in his knee also. Even though all of that would be expected, that was four in a half months ago.
So far this season I have pointed out on several occasions that the right side of the line has displayed an unacceptable level of play. The often injured Joe Barksdale has been cast off and picked up by Arizona leaving Sam Tevi who is in his second season out of Utah to man the right tackle position. Tevi who was forced into full time play during the tail end of last season played well and I had high hopes that he might continue to improve moving forward, yet that hasn’t been the case. In fact Tevi has struggled mightily and may be more well suited as a swing tackle coming off the bench. All season long Michael Schofield has played right guard and quite frankly I’m not sure why. Even on a good day for Schofield his play is average at best. He is constantly getting lost on assignments when opposing linemen run stunt’s. He has displayed an inability to pick up the blitz and is too easily knocked back off the line of scrimmage. The lack of strength and ability to read his assignments has shown time and time again that he has and will get Philip Rivers pummeled. A team looking to make a serious playoff push simply cannot have two liabilities up front playing side by side.
So why not solve some of these issues when the answer is standing right on the sideline. Most of the year he has been listed as inactive however these last two weeks he has indeed suited up. Lamp played left tackle in collage and was said to be ready to be slotted in at right guard before his knee injury. So one would presume that either one of these positions on the right side could be filled by Lamp. Coach Lynn has said that he doesn’t like making many changes in the rotation to the offensive line. I think he is worried that doing this will affect the running game that has been successful for most of the season. However during this week’s game with Baltimore the line has hit an all-time low and can no longer be put off or ignored. If the fear of making a switch will affect the consistency up front then that fear should have left by now seeing as how it can’t get worse than it was against Baltimore. With one game left in the season the decision should be made to thrust Lamp into action and get him some real time game experience before the playoffs start. This is presumably a no lose situation seeing as how it can’t get worse and if it doesn’t work then you can easily switch back. I know that the entire Charger nation fan base feels the same way. Last minute adjustments can make the biggest impacts.