Chargers' Spanos: Offensive line, pass rush big desires in 2012

San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos on Tuesday said that offensive line is the team's biggest offseason priority, followed by acquiring a pass rusher.

"I think the offensive line would probably be my first concern right now," Spanos told the team's official website. "The left side of the line with Marcus McNeill and Kris Dielman coming off major injuries, that would be my first concern. And secondly, I really think we need to go look at a potentially big-time pass rusher/outside linebacker."

Chargers center Nick Hardwick told U-T San Diego on Monday that he'll be back for the 2012 season after telling reporters in December he was considering retirement.

"Hopefully we're able to have Nick back with us," Spanos said.

As for the pass rush, San Diego had just 32 sacks in 2011, 23rd in the NFL.

Spanos said free-agent receiver Vincent Jackson was wanted back as well.

"Everyone knows we'd like to have Vincent back. It's no secret. We'll begin those conversations in the coming weeks, as we will with other players."

Spanos was asked about his controversial decision to retain general manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner.

"I still have confidence in A.J. and Norv. I never lost confidence in them. Working with A.J. is challenging sometimes, and he'll tell you that, but I really enjoy it. Norv has been around a long time. He's a pro. He knows what's going on. So I respect that a lot," Spanos said. "I let them do their jobs. I ask a lot of questions, obviously, but at the end of the day, I think back and maybe there were only a few times where I said I really don't want to do something. But over the last 10 years that A.J. has been here, he makes his recommendations and we talk about them, but we pretty much have gone with his decisions."

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