December 9, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) rushes the ball as Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) defends on the play during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Real Ryan Mathews Please Stand Up?


Will the real Ryan Mathews please show up?

From the moment the Chargers drafted Mathews, I have been singing his praises. At Fresno State he averaged over six yards a carry over three years. The biggest change in Mathews is his ability to hold on to the football. In three years at Fresno State Mathews fumbled the ball zero times. In three years with the Chargers, Mathews fumbled twelve times with seven of them ending in turnovers.

Besides the turnovers, Mathews went form never being injured to showing up on the injury report twenty-five times in three years with the Chargers. It is unfair to compare a new running back to the Hall-of-Famer that came before him, but Mathews has numerously stated that he looks up to LaDainian Tomlinson on a number of occasions. Over a ten-year career, Tomlinson coughed the ball up a total of eight times and was on the injury report twenty-four times.

Mathews is breaking all of Tomlinson’s records. He is, unfortunately, breaking all of the wrong ones.

Matthews is a tough guy; he is a guy with a lot of heart. We should all continue to support a guy who was strong enough to endure living in a ’69 Oldsmobile during his first four months of life.

In order for Mathews to succeed in the NFL, he has to stop focusing on his black eye shield, tattoos, BMW, dyed hair, Vanilla Ice hairlines, and all his “swag.” If he wants to be successful in the NFL, he needs to start focusing on what made Tomlinson successful. Tomlinson stayed clear of the injury report and he held on to the rock. Mathews does those two things, and the Chargers’ will have an all-star running back for years to come. Because to quote Larry from Bull Durham, “This guy has some serious s@#%.” Mathews is a talented guy, but he needs to get his head screwed on right.

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  • RussinSactown

    Maybe he is complacent…

    • http://boltbeat.com/ Ernie Padaon

      definitely the complacency

  • Rob Base

    Complacency will get you every time!

  • Chargers Bruh Bruh

    Bust.

  • Sergio Quintero

    He’s immature, and will never be LT, but anyone with the exception AP would have struggled with chargers OLine, will have a more honest opinion on him if they can get the Line working.

  • tubbs45

    too may chill pills… get your shit together and just run!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lostkiara Stefanie Smith

    We used to complain about LT the same way we complain about Matthews. I hope the new coaches can change our scheme so we finally figure out how to properly utilize the RB in the game. Running into the middle of a pile of bodies is not the answer. Personally, I think this was all Norv’s lackluster bad coaching.

    Why can’t we pull a Ray Rice or a Martin with our guys? Because we didn’t have the right scheme. I am praying McCoy and Whisenhunt change this.

    Stop blaming it all on the player… Do you think he gets injured on purpose? Who on the Chargers was opening up lanes for Matthews? We used to also say that LT was no good, which was untrue, but we blamed it on him, not the coach.

    • Cgoodness13

      Good stuff. Runnin up the middle every first down predictably is a recipe for disaster. Also why is it alright for rivers to throw interceptions because of terrible blocks, but not okay for Ryan to fumble or get hurt when running up the middle into at least 4 unblocked people (who shoul be blocked)

      • arnie

        It isn’t okay. it’s just RB are easier to replace than QB’s. So more excuses are made for them than RB.

  • http://www.BoltBeat.com/ Peter Thompson

    Hahaha… that youtube clip I posted must have pulled your heart strings a little bit, eh Ernie? Anyway.. he already has started acting more like LT. Didn’t you see his NFL A.M. interview? He was wearing an LT bow tie. (Wacka Wacka)

  • Cgoodness13

    You try holding onto the ball when the you have 3 lineman, 3 linebackers, and 4 DBs trying to hit you and rip it out. he had blocks in FSU little to none here.

  • arnie

    Good Article Brett. Like everything else, you brought the facts an numbers, however you didn’t present them in “context”. let me esplain….

    LT had an awesome O-line with a 4x pro bowler clearing the way.
    mathews, had norv, calling plays “up the middle”, with half the defense to greet him, behind the line of scrimmage.

    See it’s okay to bash the young man because of what comes out of his mouth, or not living up to expectations.Good grief, he had to follow LT. But realistically speaking, how can we blame him for not overcoming the deficiencies of a HC, that has proven he could not coach teams better than .500?
    ryan is just now, getting the support he needs. i’m confident, he’ll run with it… ;)