Chargers Players That Need To Step Their Game Up


December 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs onto the field during player introductions prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Bucky Brooks put up a post of top 10 guys that need to step up in the NFL and it highlighted a San Diego Chargers running back:

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers: Former Chargers GM A.J. Smith made the bold move to draft Mathews as the replacement for perennial All-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson. However, Mathews has failed to live up to expectations, with only one 1,000-yard season in his three-year career. While injuries and a leaky offensive line have contributed to Mathews’ struggles, the fact that he hasn’t shown the consistency or durability to handle the workload as a feature back has placed an enormous burden on Philip Rivers to carry the offense on the strength of his right arm. Without even the semblance of a balanced approach, the Chargers’ offense hasn’t been as productive or explosive in recent years. With Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt hoping to feature a more efficient offensive attack, Mathews must become the player the Chargers envisioned when they selected him with the No. 12 pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. –

Ryan Mathews is definitely one of the guys on the roster that has to step his game up, but there are a ton of guys on the roster that I feel need to step their game up as well:

PHILIP RIVERS! We all know this one. Sure he didn’t have a line. He didn’t have much help. He didn’t have a lot of things, but there were some balls that he shouldn’t have even thrown! The decision-making was questionable and that has to be changed.

Shareece Wright. He is a starting corner now and will be tested. And tested. And tested. Will he be able to pass the tests?

Manti Te’o. All the girlfriend and Alabama game talk will come to an end and what is left will be said on the field. His play will determine if the newscasters will be buzzing about his football actions. He is taking the spot of Takeo Spikes and needs to be an every down linebacker for us.

Antonio Gates. Where has he been? He was the only real threat last season, but can he beat the double teams like he used to? It looks like his play is starting to dwindle down, so he has to step the game up and become that threat we used to see on the field.

King Dunlap. I don’t know how much we will see the kid on the offensive line, but I am sure he will get his opportunities. He is young and huge and has had a ton of criticism coming from the Philly fans. Can he remake his game and become a huge part of the Chargers offensive line.

Jeromey Clary. Can he make that transition to right guard? He is making the money of a top guard and he needs to perform. I don’t need excuses for a position change and adjustments, I need results.

Cam Thomas. Now is his time to shine. He gets the starting gig in the middle of the defense and he is one of the most important pieces in the 3-4 defense. Can he take on multiple blockers and allow the linebackers to flow to the football?

Who do you think needs to step their game up?