Can Ohrnberger fill shoes of Chargers veteran?
Of all the positions on the offensive line teams find hard to replace, center is probably the most difficult. Only last year the Ravens unit completely imploded after Matt Birk’s retirement while the Falcons have been struggling in that area ever since Todd McClure hung up his cleats.
Chargers fans will be hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to their promising group now that excellent veteran Nick Hardwick has been ruled out with a season ending neck injury. Drafted in 2004, we rated Hardwick a top 10 center based on performance alone last year and that doesn’t include the leadership and cohesion he brought to bear.
Rich Ohrnberger did a very worthy job when asked to step in after only 16 snaps against Arizona and past evidence suggests that may continue. When playing guard his pass protection has usually left something to be desired but as a center he normally holds his own.
Last year he graded +6.8 while run-blocking but a rather less encouraging -5.1 when dropping back. The better news was all bar -0.6 of that came as a guard.