LA Chargers: Spencer Pulley proving fit to start
As an undrafted free agent out of Vanderbilt (2016), Spencer Pulley of the LA Chargers is proving that he is fit to start at center for the team. While some fans may be concerned about his ability to be “the guy,” it seems that may well be all for naught.
Last season, excitement built when former Chicago Bears guard Matt Slauson joined the team as a free agent. FINALLY there was going to somebody who could step into the position who knew what the hell was going on.
I personally LOVED this signing after watching “Da Bears” for many years. Slauson brought “nasty” back to a line that had been severely out of sync since former center Nick Hardwick was forced to retire in 2015 after spending the 2014 season on the injured-reserve list. A fierce and wily veteran, Slauson has been a force for defenders to contend with since entering the league in 2009 after being drafted by the New York Jets.
Pulley is 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds of aggression and versatility, coupled with quickness and football savvy. He has been garnering kudos; not just from Slauson, who is kicking out to left guard this season, but that one guy who he will be taking snaps from him, quarterback Philip Rivers, likes the kid, too.
Rivers is familiar with Pulley because he was on the same Vanderbilt team as Rivers’ younger brother, Stephen. Earlier this year while talking with Eric D. Williams of ESPN, No. 17 stated that the team took notice of Pulley last year and the consensus then was ‘Who is this Pulley guy?’ adding, “it just wasn’t too big for him right off the bat. He’s had a heck of an offseason, so he’s in there right now with the first group and we’ll see how it goes.”
Pulley began his professional trek in San Diego last year, filling in when former guard D.J. Fluker (now with the New York Giants) sustained an ankle injury during training camp. The former Commodore saw playing time at both guard positions (48 on the right, 115 on the left), as well as taking some snaps (44) at center. He and Rivers have had plenty of time to begin to develop the comfort level that is so important between a quarterback and center.
What does Slauson think of Pulley? As he told to Eric D. Williams, “He’s a really smart kid, wise beyond his years. I thought last year the way he approached his job was way beyond what a rookie does. He’s just committed to it. The reality is he’s a pro. And the way he attacks the day is like that of a fourth- or fifth-year guy. And his tools — he’s extremely quick and extremely strong — he’s one of the stronger guys in our room. So I have a lot of confidence in him.”
Having a guy of Slauson’s caliber to his immediate left can only reap benefits for Pulley and the rest of the offense. He can pick the brain of a veteran who learned from the likes of Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, Damien Woody and Branden Moore.
Sounds to me like the Chargers have found their center in Spencer Pulley.
Looking forward to your thoughts and comments!