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Mathews is still trying to catch on

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    BY SCOTT BAIR - sbair@nctimes.com | Posted: August 9, 2010

    SAN DIEGO -- Ryan Mathews stayed on the field well after Monday morning's practice, absorbing shots from a football passing machine. He caught one after another as five minutes turned into 10.

    The Chargers rookie running back has put an emphasis on catching passes out of the backfield, one of the few knocks in his otherwise well-rounded game.

    Mathews dropped a few passes in practice last week, drawing boos from the training camp crowd. He's in the second week of this post-practice routine, which includes between 50 and 75 extra passes per day.

    "It's a point of emphasis for me," Mathews said. "I think I have great hands, but I want to make sure they're on point. I dropped a couple catchable passes last week, and that showed that I'm a little rusty in terms of catching the ball. I've set aside time to catch 50-75 balls each day leading up to the first (preseason) game to be at my best."

    Mathews was effective as a receiver in offseason workouts despite making just 11 catches for 122 yards as a junior at Fresno State last season.

    While Mathews will both catch and carry the ball in the preseason, coach Norv Turner hasn't decided how much he'll play in the team's exhibition opener versus Chicago on Saturday.

    "If he's ready to go and he's healthy, I want to give him a pretty good dose of touches," Turner said. "The exact number will be decided during the course of the game."

    That's a stark contrast to the approach taken with former running back LaDainian Tomlinson, even during his rookie season. Tomlinson was largely untouchable during training camp and the preseason, but Mathews gets tagged regularly during practice.

    Not that he minds.

    "It helps me get ready for game action," Mathews said. "I'm not going to run through a hole in a game without being touched, so I don't want to do that in practice.

    They aren't tackling me out here, but defenders are letting me know they're there.

    "In terms of touches, I'll take as many as (Turner will) give me. He knows I need to get ready for the season, and I trust that he'll give me enough to get comfortable out there."
  2. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Official Hater

    Feb 14, 2007

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