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ESPN: Mathews Letting his play do the talking

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/san-diego-chargers/post/_/id/1146/mathews-letting-his-play-do-the-talking

    Sub-title: Chargers fans scouring internet to find the best recipes for CROW in case play continues at this level. (see southern fried crow)

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Ryan Mathews broke tackles and ran hard, eclipsing 100 rushing yards for a second straight game.

    But San Diego’s workhorse running back saved his best moves for after the game, quickly putting on a grey suit and packing his belongings as he tried to beat the rush of reporters.

    Mathews enjoys talking about himself about as much as a dental phobic looks forward to a root canal, but he put up with a couple questions before exiting the locker room.

    So what does rushing for 100 yards again mean to you?

    [​IMG]

    Melina Vastola/USA TODAY SportsRich Ohrnberger helps lift up Ryan Mathews following a touchdown.


    “I don’t really think about it like that,” Mathews said following the Chargers'24-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. “As long as we got the win, that’s all that really matters -- being able to go into the bye week with a 'W' and a winning record feels good.”

    OK, so how do you feel about the effective way your team is running the ball right now?

    “The big guys up front are doing an amazing good job of opening up holes and pushing guys back,” Mathews said. “It’s pretty easy to run through holes that you can drive cars through.”

    One of the guys responsible for opening up the big running lanes is offensive line utility man Rich Ohrnberger, who lifted Mathews off the ground after he bounced into the end zone for a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the second half.

    “It’s important to do your job, regardless of the situation,” Ohrnberger said. “And for him (Mathews) to go out there, like all of the other guys in the backfield, and Phil (Rivers) passing his benchmark like he did -- just the guys behind us are so talented, they make our jobs that much easier.”

    Through five games, Mathews had rushed for 234 yards, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. In the last two games, Mathews has rushed for 212 yards, averaging a robust 4.9 yards a carry.

    “It feels great to block for a running back who wants to be great -- who wants to be in the Hall of Fame one day,” San Diego offensive lineman D.J. Fluker said. “We want to give Ryan as much room as possible to be the best running back he can.”

    The next assignment for Mathews will be to do a better job closing out things at the end of games. The Chargers went three-and-out three straight times in the fourth quarter, failing to convert first downs in order to grind out clock and salt away the game.

    “He’s got a lot of confidence in what we’re doing, and the way the offensive line is blocking up front,” San Diego coach Mike McCoy said. “There were a couple plays I said to Joe (offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris), one in particular toward the end with three or four drives left -- unfortunately we went three-and-out on it -- but I said to him, ‘That’s the way you run the football.’

    “That’s the way you’ve got to be able to do it, pounding guys and double-team blocks, and the running back putting his foot in the ground and going north and south. And a lot of good finishes, and you saw a bunch of defenders on the ground. So we’ve just got to continue to be physical up front.”
     
  2. Riff Raff

    Riff Raff BoltTalker

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    About time.
     
  3. powayslugger

    powayslugger 2014--- Bring on the Lombardi!

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    Glad to see him getting his act together. It goes to show you that a solid running game makes the pass game that much better... Hey Norv are you listening???

    My biggest concern with Mathews is: are we seeing a trend or is it a fluke? He's still got three years of lukewarm performance to overcome to convince me.
     
  4. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I love the smell of football in the morning.

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    ^^^ I say let's wait and see for another three years before anyone makes any hasty judgements...
     
  5. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    What would you grade him as today?

    #1?
    Solid #2 RB?
    Future cashier at KMart?

    Personally I'd say solid #2, and we could probably resign him on the cheap after this year if he's not itching for a change of scenery. Which is I'm not ashamed to say...egg in my face compared to what I thought he'd be.
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    RM has done for two games what folks thought he should've been doing all along. I'd rather him make guys miss than take them on and try to deliver the blow that alone might help him stay out of the trainers room and doctors office.
     
  7. Riff Raff

    Riff Raff BoltTalker

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    He just needs to stay steady, hang onto the ball, & continue to work on his pass blocking. I seriously doubt that we'll ever see what we all hoped to be getting from him based on his draft spot & what we gave up to get there, but that's water long over the dam. I hope he stays healthy & can contribute to something the team hasn't had in awhile - a strong rushing game.
     
  8. BlueandGold

    BlueandGold The Oracle

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    Ryan is a #1 back. He's just not LT.

    Remember, we've had Norv Turner as coach for Ryan's entire career. Even LT couldn't succeed to his previously lofty standards after Norv came along. He just wasn't a coach that focused on the intricacies of the running game. He ran the ball to keep the defense honest, and that's about it - it wasn't about running the ball as a game plan.

    RM will continue to do what he's doing at this point because it's the kind of runner he is. He's not the 200 yard home run hitter that LT, ADAP, or the other great (read: Hall of Fame) runners are... he's not Barry Sanders or Gale Sayers. He's more like a poor (maybe even middle-class) man's Emmitt Smith, not flashy, with the same kind of second-effort ability but probably less vision. He'll take what his Offensive Line gives him, and as they improve, he will improve as well. He's a back that, if LT had never existed in the Charger universe, we'd be more than happy to have.

    His fumble issues appear to be solved, more or less. His blocking is improving. Good enough for me.

    There isn't a back I'd trade him for that another team would be willing to trade. Knowwhattamean?
     
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  9. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    "Ryan is a #1 back. He's just not LT." I love that.

    LT spoiled us not just with his great running, but his almost super-human ability to avoid injury.

    I love RM's abilities and efforts. Some think he's never going to break off 65-yard runs,
    but he's so fast, and has been so close, so many times, that I'm not giving up on that yet.
    Lack of vision seems to be his biggest shortcoming right now...he seems so determined to
    run north-south, that he often doesn't seem ready to take a chance to bounce it outside.
    That's not entirely bad...lots of guys turn 2 yard--between the tackles--gains into 3 yard losses
    by getting too cute. Seems like RM is trying just a little too hard to not be that guy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
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  10. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    I knowwhattamean, I just don't know if I trust RM to stay healthy long enough to call him a #1. And if we drafted a similar back in the offseason it wouldn't concern me like it would if we had a Charles, McCoy, Foster etc...

    And really he just doesn't play enough snaps in general, Woodhead is almost exclusively on the field on 3rd downs. (Justifiably so, because that guy is awesome)

    Agree with the Norv part completely, not sure Mathews improved at a single thing while Norv was here.
     
  11. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Well, I'm gonna show Mathews even a bit more love, cause I was just listening to the
    five minute McCoy audio in "FX" on NFL.com (v. Jax), and McCoy repeats over and over: "Downhill!!"
    suggesting strongly that the coaching staff is instructing Mathews to do exactly what I was talking about

    (I don't often [deliberately] quote myself to make a point...] :)
     
  12. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    RM is the only back this season to have two consecutive 100 yard rushing games
     
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  13. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    A real test will be when we face Denver. They have if memory serves the best run D in the league. If RM24 can be successful vs them with McCoy's brand of 'downhill' running, he will have proven himself IMHO.
     
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  14. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    Luckily for us, Mathews has always been successful against Denver.

    On another note, if this team can manage to get the better of Oakland and win both games against Denver and KC, this team has a shot.

    Both LT and Willie McGinest have pegged the Chargers as the darkhorse that could sneak into the playoffs and win the SB
     
  15. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I love the smell of football in the morning.

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    Don't you mean under the dam? Or is that water under a bridge?
     
  16. Dominion Bolt

    Dominion Bolt BoltTalker

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    RM24 will never be LT. We all have to accept that, but....if the Bolts can continue to get 100-130 yds a game from their collection of running backs and Phillip can continue to complete 7 out of 10 passes (with very few turnovers), this team is in every game for the rest of the year - regardless of who they are playing.
     
  17. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Really? League-wide? I knew RBs were struggling, but that blows my mind...
     
  18. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    League wide yes. I just checked his stats, 11 times he's had 20 or more carries and in those 11 he has had 100 yards in every game. Run Ryan More!!!!
     
  19. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    GP ATT YDS AVG LNG
    14 222 1,091 4.9 39
    Some Joker working for ESPN actually listed those numbers for Mathews in his 14 game season in 2011. 4.9 a carry? Every SD fan knows Norv didn't know how to get anything out of a runner. And that Ryan was just taught this year how to play football
     
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  20. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    My personal fav was when LT began to show his age, guys were actually posting stuff like:

    "Well, remember, Norv has never believed in the run..he's always been a pass-first play-caller."

    "Them guys must be smart" exclaimed Emmett Smith, in his 1993 career-high ypc season...

    Gates, Rivers Jackson & Mathews 2011 Pro Bowl.png

    [Gates, Rivers, Jackson & Mathews in 2011 Pro Bowl]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
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  21. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    Hard to argue he didn't regress in 2012 though. He was only in the game on 5 third downs last year, shows me a coach who has given up trying to coach a young player.

    This year his pass blocking has been much improved, if not dare I say....good.:eek: He hasn't been fumbling as often, and it looks like he's just more comfortable in a zone blocking scheme. He's still not hitting the deep ball though, which is disappointing.
     
  22. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    everything is related. you can't just pick and choose correlation.
     
  23. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    I can't stand history being written by haters. What's worse is when people like Mathews have to be sacrificed to make the hate narrative of another true.
    1. Emmitt Smith / Cowboys (1991-93) — Smith led the league in rushing in each of the three seasons Turner was in Dallas, rushing for 1,563 yards in 1991, 1,713 in ’92 and 1,486 yards in ’93. He also led the league in attempts in ’91 with 365 and rushed for a league-high 18 touchdowns in ’92. Those three seasons kick-started a Hall of Fame career for Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. (no bolds here because every SD fan thinks Jimmy did everything)

    2. Terry Allen / Redskins (1995-96) — During Turner’s time as the Redskins’ head coach, Allen was his primary rusher from 1995-98, rushing for more than 1,300 yards in back-to-back seasons in ’95 and ’96. Those two campaigns marked Allen’s career-highs in rushes and yards and he led the league with 21 rushing touchdowns in ’96 and earned his one and only Pro Bowl berth.

    3. Stephen Davis / Redskins (1999-2000) — A three-time Pro Bowler, Davis made two of those with Turner as his head coach in Washington. In 1999, Davis led the league with 17 touchdowns and 100.4 rushing yards per game. The next season, Davis had career-highs in receptions and yards (33 for 313) and rushed for 1,318 yards.

    4. LaDainian Tomlinson / Chargers (2001, 2007-08) — In L.T.’s rookie season, Turner was his offensive coordinator, and Tomlinson exploded onto the NFL scene with 1,236 rushing yards and 10 rushing TDs. Tomlinson certainly didn’t need Turner to be productive, but when Turner returned as head coach in ’07, L.T. led the league with 1,474 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Tomlinson’s final 1,000-yard season came in ’08, when he rushed for 1,110 yards.

    5. Ricky Williams / Dolphins (2002-03)Williams had his best season and only Pro Bowl selection in Turner’s first season as Miami’s offensive coordinator. In ’02, Williams led the league with 383 carries, 1,853 rushing yards and gained 115.8 rushing yards per game. He also had 16 rushing TDs and 47 catches for 363 yards. The next season, Williams led the league in carries again with 392, tied for the seventh-most carries in a season all-time.

    6. LaMont Jordan / Raiders (2005) — Turner struggled to find success in his two seasons as the Raiders’ head coach, but he did help Jordan to his best NFL season. Jordan set career-high marks in carries (272), rushing yards (1,025), rushing touchdowns (nine), receptions (70) and receiving yards (563) in Turner’s final season with Oakland.

    7. Frank Gore / 49ers (2006) — In Turner’s one season with San Francisco, he helped launch Gore into the consistent, productive runner we know today. But that ’06 season, Gore’s second in the NFL, was his best season as a runner. He rushed for a career-high 1,695 yards on 312 carries, adding eight rushing TDs. Continuing the trend of backs being dual threats under Turner, Gore had a career-best 61 catches for 485 yards.

    8. Ryan Mathews / Chargers (2011) — Only twice in Turner’s 21 years as a head coach or offensive coordinator did he go back-to-back seasons without having a 1,000-yard rusher, including 2009-10. Mathews, a first-rounder in ’10, had high expectations, but injuries forced him out of four games. He had 1,091 yards rushing and 455 yards receiving in ’11, giving good reason for the high bar set for him in ’12. Mathews could miss two games because of the clavicle injury but is expected to carry a heavy workload upon his return.
     
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  24. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    But if more fans believe this, then that determines realty! I love sports because it is an easy microcosm for studying the greater disease
     
  25. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    Fair enough, so that's 2 of 3 seasons that were bad with Norv.

    And so far so good this season, but I definitely see a more complete player. Having a solid backup RB is keeping him fresh too.
     
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  26. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Nice post. Too "facty" for the narrative, though. :cool: The "Norv is a loser" narrative was sealed by 2005
    (though he had done slightly better with the lousy Redskins & Raiders than his peers who bookended him with those teams)
    Nothing less than Super Bowl wins were going to budge that irrational story line. Guys will get mad
    at you for citing facts because, well, "Doesn't everyone know Norv was a loser?!?"
    I didn't like the guy at first, but I got sick of the "worst coach ever!" hysteria, and found myself
    reluctantly defending reality in a sea of irrationality. I could cite 15 anti-Norv memes that are easily
    disprovable with facts/stats, but it's like pushing water uphill. Minds have closed, and it's not even
    intellectual anyway...it's visceral. People can't stand Norv. And sometimes that means making up
    absurd memes (like "Norv was never into the running game") to feel better... Not Charger fans' proudest moment.

    Normally I'm the most lovable guy on BT, by a mile, :D but I realize that my staunch
    refusal to pile on Norv--when it isn't true--definitely costs me some friendship points... :oops:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
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  27. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    but there were other factors other than (if even) Norv...Norv did not have a healthy slot or Danny Woodhead or legitimate first round lineman. reconciling Norv Hate with Telesco appreciation is amusing to watch. And outside injury and turnovers none of Mathews seasons were bad. Pretty amazing what he did with what he was given actually. Why does PR get a pass but Mathews sucks?
     
  28. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    I get accused of not letting it go but watching people dismiss ABN's mistakes and Telesco's picks and acquisitions, shows that the goal is to justify how horribly wrong they themselves were for all their dumb hate the last 7 years. And yeah, football is stupid but these lessons are valuable and worth looking into.

    Funny thing about my opinions of Norv is that I thought he should have been fired (along with Smith) for not publicly taking Smith on for the Hester/Tolbert situation, the VJ incident, and for starting LT instead of Tolbert in the playoffs. Though not as sick as I get for defending the kunt Clinton from useless matters such as blowjobs, it's a frustrating lesson in the black and white stupidity of the proudly ignorant.
     
  29. Burlington Bolt Brother

    Burlington Bolt Brother BoltTalker

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    And this part usually confuses people to my frustration but I think the MAthews pick was bad on several levels!
    1)the team (despite what dummies thinking Norv had a SB team thought) was very thin and had had bad starting talent at Oline--a double problem because they needed blockers and a back can't run without them

    2)picking a back in the first round is bad even if you haven't any other needs and the Chargers had many

    3)TRADING UP! Considering the above, it doesn't matter how damned good Mathews is or ends up being, it screwed this team and especially so because they were already at a deficit from previous dumb trade -ups

    The point isn't how good guys like Weddle, Mathews and Hester become...when you say yes to something, you say no to something else

    having said all that? Thinking Mathews is a bad player is nuts
     
  30. matilack

    matilack #therealagent47

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    Well first of all you should know your talking to the biggest Mathews supporter on this site, I've taken a lot of flak for hyping him up the way I did some friendly jibs, some not so friendly.

    There are too many unquantifiable intangibles that would go into comparing the two rosters, so let's not waste our time with arguing if the Allen/Brown/Gates combo is better than a Floyd/Gates/DX (for only half the season) combo etc... And it's not like Norv has ever used a true slot receiver before anyway in his entire 20+ year career. Even to this day he is misusing Davon Bess by sending him on deep crossing routes.

    What I can see from just the eyeball test is less runs for losses, less fumbles, and better blitz pick ups for sure. It's the little things he's doing better at which allows him to stay in the game. I don't know how the 2nd half will go, but I'm encouraged that he will have his best year so far. And maybe it's unfair to knock Norv, maybe it's Ollie Wilson we should blame, but it's pretty terrible that it took this long for Mathews this long to figure out blockig assignments.
     

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