OL Brady Bond (Brody Schmidt/AP)
A prospect to keep an eye on in training camp is rookie OL Brady Bond. Few people know the OSU product better than Robert Allen, who covers the Cowboys and whose son was Bond's teammate. In this exclusive interview, Allen reveals just what to expect from the versatile rookie.
Most undrafted linemen who sign in San Diego talk of being the next Kris Dielman, a former UDFA who developed into a Pro Bowler. But for Brady Bond, a four-year starter at Oklahoma State, the path to follow is that of Scott Mruczkowski. Because of Bond is going to stick, it will be because of his versatility and intelligence.
For more on Bond, we check in with a man who knows him well. Robert Allen is the editor of Go Pokes magazine and the sidelines reporter on the radio network. Also, Allen's son was a teammate of Bond's for four seasons at OSU.
Michael Lombardo: Brady played right tackle at Oklahoma State, but San Diego is moving him inside to guard. What do you think of that move and how do you see him handling it?
Robert Allen: I think it is the natural move for him as he has good feet and can move a little. Brady was a tight end in eight-man football at Garber, Okla. -- yes, eight-man football -- and that position would be like a combo guard/tackle/tight end. Brady is smart and will pick things up quickly. In fact, I could see him being a multiple guy that could play up and down the offensive line. That is the way Joe Wickline trains his linemen at OSU and he puts them at a variety of positions in the spring and the first couple of weeks of fall camp so they are all multi-trained.
ML: What effect did playing opposite Russell Okung have on Brady? For example, did he see more blitz packages attacking the "weak side" of the line?
RA: I think he definitely saw a lot of stunts and some edge blitz packages. Most of all, during games as Okung ate up opposing pass-rush specialists, teams started moving their good pass rushers to the other side to see if it was more vulnerable. Bond held up well.
ML: Why do you think Brady went undrafted? What are the holes in his game and where is his potential most limited when looking ahead to the NFL?
RA: I think he can sometimes be a little too relaxed and not as intense as some offensive line coaches would like. He is a country kid who's laid back. He also had an ankle injury his senior season. I know, at times, some people thought he played soft and I think he did some as a sophomore and junior, but I do think he grew out of that. He had intense competition for his job with JuCo All-American Andrew Mitchell (signed with Cincinnati) his last two years and held on to the job.
ML: On the flip side, are there one or two attributes of Brady's that give him a chance to survive in the NFL, be it in San Diego or somewhere else?
RA: I think that would be his calm and intelligence. He will be able to play multiple positions. After playing for Joe Wickline, he can take hard coaching and deal with it and not let it kill his confidence and make him negative from a mental standpoint. He also is not intimidated.
ML: Is there a current or former NFL player you would compare him to?
RA: He is a little like his former college teammate and now starting left tackle with the Indianapolis Colts, Charlie Johnson. Charlie may be a tad bit more athletic, but they have a similar demeanor. Johnson was also a tight end in high school and for three years at OSU before moving to tackle under Wickline.
ML: Anything else Chargers fans should know about Brady?
RA: Very good character. He was also a good basketball player in high school. Extreme work ethic. He and my son practically tore down a Stillwater restaurant to clean it up and then built it back for the owner. He also likes to fish.
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