My view: Ryan Mathews
By FanSided Staff
Is Ryan Mathews the back we want him to be? Is he going to surpass LT? He is the future running back for the Bolts right? The Chargers moved up 16 picks in the 2010 NFL draft to pick Ryan Mathews out of Fresno State as 12th overall. The Bolts traded there 1st round pick (28th overall), 2nd round pick, 4th round pick, and Tim Dobbins to the Miami Dolphins for the number 12 pick, a fourth and a sixth round pick (which we traded to the 49ers). Ryan Mathews out of Fresno state had a NCAA career 3,280 yards in three seasons and 39 touchdowns. I was excited when I heard this pick happened, we needed a stable running back that could replace LT. He has a lot of spunk and of course he has to want to be on the San Diego Chargers, as he did look up to LT in his football career. I really did not see this going to any other running back, he wants to be a Charger, and I want him to be a Charger. He is a good solid running back and just needs to get more practice in and more playing time, minus the ankle injury.
Mathews in the second game of the season was carried off the field late in the first quarter and since has been showing signs of the ankle injury. Going into the 11th week of the season and the 10th game for the Chargers, he is averaging 4.4 yards a game with a total of 382 yards,and has only 2 touchdowns through nine games. There is his 3 lost fumbles, which any turnover is costly wether the opposing team gets points off of them or not. I have not seen him really put his head down when a defender is coming, it seems as though he runs head high every carry and is anxious to get down the field instead of being patient, by following his blockers. I love it when he punishes defender’s with his hits, or his stiff arm, but it doesn’t always work, it’s always a thrill when the defense gets hit, but when they strip they keep you on your feet and strip the ball, it’s not a thrill at all. I would like to see Mathews get the ball more and run to the outside instead of up the middle, to spread the defense when he is in the backfield, I do understand the “Ground and POUND” technique but i would like to see more of a ground and score technique with Ryan Mathews. I cant complain, Philip Rivers is a monster and has no problem scoring (with 19 touchdowns), and neither does Tolbert (7 touchdowns this season) bulldozing his way past the goal line, yet I believe that if Mathews is the future back and we want him to be the next LT (which of course I do), then we should find a way to get him a TD. That does come back to practice though, and we do need to do what it takes to win, that’s if we can go a game where we don’t hear a double thump of a blocked punt or any other special team mistake.
I don’t miss LT, he is doing perfectly fine with the Jets, and was in decline with the Chargers, at first i was optimistic about LT and his career with San Diego before we let him go, but I was just holding on to the past. We drafted Ryan Mathews, who was a beast at Fresno State, and with our running game getting 107.8 yards a game (16th in the league) compared to the 88.9 yards a game in 2009 (31st in the league) our running game without LT has improved, whether it be Tolbert, Mathews, or Sproles.