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A few minutes with Rich Ohrnberger

7/26/2014

As part of a position group that prides itself on versatility, San Diego Chargers offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger is perhaps the ultimate Swiss army knife of the group.

The Penn State product serves as the team’s backup center behind veteran Nick Hardwick, but also is used as a backup at both guard spots and could probably fill in at offensive tackle in a pinch.

Ohrnberger took all of the reps with the starters at center Saturday on a muggy day at Chargers Park, with Hardwick taking a rest day.

“The role, like every year is just whatever they need,” Ohrnberger said. “As a player, as a Charger it’s just whatever the coaches need me to do, I’ll do. That’s all I can say right now. It’s training camp. It’s early, and you never know how things are going to shake out.

“As a reserve lineman there’s no other way to stay on the roster, unless there’s a specific need. You really need to be able to bounce around a little bit. And if that’s the need, that’s what I’ll do. Those decisions are made, and I just go out there and do my best.”

Ohrnberger, 28, visited the New York Jets in free agency, which would have been a homecoming of sorts for the East Meadow, New York, native. However, Ohrnberger ultimately inked a one-year, $795,000 deal to stay in San Diego.

A fourth-round selection by the New England Patriots in the 2009 draft, Ohrnberger signed a one-year deal with San Diego as an unrestricted free agent last offseason. Ohrnberger saw action in 13 games, including one start, and played a total of 144 snaps on offense in 2013.

“There were other opportunities,” Ohrnberger said. “But to be perfectly honest, I think we have a special team here. Special things are happening for us. I felt great about last season. So the goal was to get something worked out here, and it worked out perfectly.”

If there’s laughter emanating from the part of the locker room where the offensive line resides, you can bet Ohrnberger is at the center of it. He serves as the resident prankster for that group.

“That’s engrained,” he said. “I go in there and I love being around the guys. We just have a lot of laughs in training camp, especially the first couple days. It’s awesome being around the team and we’re just having a great time.

“It’s like a party, it really is. It’s been a bunch of years and I love it. As long as I can keep doing this, it’s going to be bunch of laughs.”

Ohrnberger also has taken his act to Twitter, which you can check out here and here. Although Ohrnberger admits he has to use his better judgment at times so he stays out of trouble.

“I’m doing my best to censor myself,” he said. “But honestly, from the social media standpoint or any of that stuff, the most important thing is my job, my family and just doing the right thing. As long as nobody is offended, that’s great. And if a couple people laugh, that’s better.”