NFL fans that have never watched Charger games consistently are going to assume that Branden Oliver is the next Darren Sproles. After all, he is 5’6, and Sproles is 5’6. They are both quick and fast (although Sproles is quicker and faster), but they play nothing alike.
And I mean nothing alike….
Go watch this film on Oliver vs Ohio last season.
You can obviously tell, if you are a San Diego Chargers fan and have been for a while, the playing style of those two are far apart.
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First of all, I have never seen a player that can do what Branden Oliver can do with his body.
Oliver runs with his macho strength. Seriously go watch that film again and tell me just three plays where he actually chose to run outside, like Sproles always did.
The awareness of Branden Oliver is just on point. He finds a whole and instead of lollygagging behind it he uses that anger to just plow through whatever is in front of him. Think of his style as more of a Michael Turner.
Darren Sproles on the other hand, simply uses that electrifying speed and quickness, not to mention his height, to make players miss. He is a great player nonetheless, but he is nothing like Oliver.
UT San Diego had a player feature on Branden a couple of weeks back, and he said, “I’m not Darren Sproles.”
“I didn’t like how 44 looked,” Oliver said. “I knew 43 was Darren Sproles’ number, but I didn’t think of it like, ‘I’m trying to be like Sproles.’ That’s the perception that people are getting. I’m just trying to be me. … I’m like 15 pounds heavier, physical. He’s way quicker than me.”
It’s obvious even Oliver doesn’t want to mentioned as just another Darren Sproles in San Diego (it’s even starting to annoy me), but wants to be his unique self. He has that raw strength to go with his short height which is just special. Sproles had the height, but didn’t have the on field strength or power to run through defensive lineman.