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Mathews outstanding, pads exciting

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 7:32 p.m.


    Ryan Mathews got limited work, but it was enough to see what he can do.
    The Chargers' first-round pick had been excellent the final few weeks of offseason coaching sessions, but in a spirited practice in full pads he wowed his teammates and a crowd estimated at 3,500.
    "We're going to be better with Ryan carrying the ball," Darren Sproles said.
    Mathews showed vision, speed and an ability to get outside that has been missing for a couple years.

    • I was next two two visiting national writers for some of practice, and maybe now the word will start to get out about Malcom Floyd. (Again, not saying Vincent Jackson won't be missed, but ...) Floyd made three catches -- at least one of which might have drawn a flag for offensive PI -- that were remarkable. That is, unless you've been watching him make them around here for six years. FYI, world, Floyd had 36 of his 45 total receptions and 589 of his 776 total yards over the last 10 games of '09. He has averaged 17.2 yards per catch over the past two seasons. Most teams that lose a player like Jackson don't have a player like Floyd.
    • Buster Davis made some nice catches over the middle. Yes, he is still healthy. (And it took me three days to mention him for the first time.)
    • Norv Turner opened up the first practice in pads with the Oklahoma drill, and rookie nose tackle Cam Thomas blew up guard Tyronne Green on the first two snaps before Green held of Thomas on the third try. Thomas has a lot o learn and was gotten the best of at times later in practice, but he is promising.
    • Larry English missed his second straight practice with a "tweaked" ligament in his foot. Jyles Tucker has a good practice working with the starters in his place.
    • Fullback Mike Tolbert, who carried the ball a lot the first four practices, sat out with a sore hamstring.
    • Strickland, who, if you choose to remember, made a nice play as a Jet in January's playoff game to break up a pass Floyd customarily catches, is tearing it up. Really looking good at nickel and running with the second team at corner. He broke up one pass to Davis, the ball popped in the air and Steve Gregory came down with it.
    • Shaun Phillips, covering deep, made a nice one-handed interception in seven-on-seven drills.
    • Norv Turner always has the third team go totally live for a series on the first day in pads and then a few more times over the next week. Yesterday, the offense gained just two yards on two inside runs before rookie Shawnbrey McNeal turned outside for a big gain on the third snap. It still says here that McNeal is the leader ahead of Marcus Mason for the third RB spot.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Mathews jumps aboard

    [​IMG]


    Chargers sign top pick to five-year deal that could pay him $25.65 million

    By Kevin Acee , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Originally published August 1, 2010 at 11:14 a.m., updated August 1, 2010 at 9:59 p.m.


    On his second carry of his first training camp practice, Ryan Mathews stopped abruptly, jumped slightly and ran to his right, around the edge and then downfield with a glide and quickness that seemed to take many of the nearly 4,000 people watching back in time.
    “LT in his prime?”
    “LT who?”
    Whoa, now. Let’s be careful making comparisons just yet to a four-time All Pro who has rushed for more yards than all but seven men ever have.
    But still, and perhaps more pertinent to the current goals of the Chargers and coming from a highly qualified source, there was also this assessment from Darren Sproles:
    “We’re going to be better with Ryan carrying the ball.”
    The Chargers moved up 16 spots in April’s draft to select Mathews 12th overall because they certainly believe that to be the case.
    And now he’s officially a Charger.
    Around noon Sunday, two days after camp started and the sides began negotiations, Mathews signed a five-year contract that virtually guarantees him $15.083 million and could pay him $25.65 million in total.
    Four hours later, Mathews was on the field for the Chargers’ first practice in full pads.
    While held back somewhat after missing the four practice everyone else had already been through, Mathews carried the ball enough to impress with his vision, speed, power and cutting ability.
    It’s difficult to predict in a practice where there is no tackling and the speed of play does not measure up to that of a game. But Mathews appeared to find and get through a number of holes, and he bounced like a rabbit in the open field.
    It is that kind of possibility that has the Chargers optimistic they can move up significantly from the depths of the NFL rushing charts.
    The Chargers ranked last in rushing average a year ago, at 3.3 yards per carry.
    “This guy has great speed and explosiveness and vision,” head coach Norv Turner said of Mathews. “And I think he’ll create long runs.”
    It is long runs that increase rushing average and, more importantly, give a team another dimension with which to move the ball in large chunks.
    Where the Chargers had 62 rushes for 10 or more yards in 2006 and another 57 such runs in ’07, they had 32 last season and 37 the year before. Where LaDainian Tomlinson averaged almost 38 runs of 10 or more yards in his first eight seasons, he had just 14 last year.
    “What I believe will be different is we’re going to get more explosive (rushing) plays,” Turner said. “Everybody talks about the average per carry. That’s where your average per carry changes. And we have not gotten a lot of explosive runs the past two years. In fact, the ones we got were mostly Darren or (Mike) Tolbert.”
    While Tomlinson did actually produce more big plays than Sproles and Tolbert, Turner’s point is overwhelmingly accurate when the number of touches is factored in.
    Tolbert, a fullback who spent the two days Mathews was absent taking snaps as the first-team tailback, scored on a 66-yard run last season and had a 67-yard run his rookie year. His average over 38 career carries, a total he could double this season, is 4.9 yards.
    Sproles, who will continue as the Chargers’ third-down back, had eight rushes of 10 or more yards included in his 93 carries last season. He averages 4.5 yards on 199 career carries.
    Mathews averaged 6.1 yards a carry in his career at Fresno State.
    For a team that relied too much at times on big pass plays and was forced to consider the screen a run play, this could all add up to good news.
    “You can take the screen game away,” Turner said. “That’s one of the things the Jets did (in the playoffs) … Running the ball is another way to make big plays, and the big plays we’ve had have been in the passing game. If you have runners that can make long runs it’s a matter of time before they break one.”
    It appeared, for the first day, that Mathews could be a means to that end.
    “The first day was fun,” Mathews said. “Now there’s pads and everything like that, everyone is going 100 miles an hour. It was fun.”
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I hope that all of our guys, new & old, contribute greatly to this being the best Chargers team ever. While I may not have endorsed going the route that the team went to get a new RB & NT, they're here now & I sure as hell won't let anything get in the way of cheering like crazy for them. They're in a Chargers uni, right?

    I will reserve the right to not start comparing Mathews to LT in his prime or Thomas to Jamal just yet. :icon_tease:

    I'm sure glad that it's almost time for some real football. :yes:
     
  4. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Is he saying that Buster has not stepped up?
     
  5. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Being healthy and making catches constitutes 'stepping up' for Buster now
     
  6. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    I guess he did neither his first two days of camp. :lol:
     
  7. Chavez

    Chavez Well-Known Member

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    I think he means he practiced for a whole 3 days without getting hurt. :lol:
     
  8. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :yes:
     
  9. LaDeezie21

    LaDeezie21 BoltTalker

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    He might of been afraid to report about Buster in fear of him getting hurt and making him look stupid for jumping on the Buster bandwagon.
     
  10. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Interesting comment by Sproles.

    "We're going to be better with Ryan carrying the ball," Darren Sproles said.
     
  11. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Mathews practices

    By Christopher Smith, Chargers.com
    Posted 3 hours ago

    8-2-2010


    The rookie running back took the field hours after he signed a five-year contract with the Chargers. Both events delighted fans.

    SAN DIEGO – Ryan Mathews bounced his second carry of the day outside and raced for yardage up the right sideline to cheers.
    It was an eventful day for the No. 12 overall pick of the draft, who signed a five-year contract hours before San Diego’s first full-pads practice.
    “It’s kind of like the first day of OTAs. Adrenaline was rushing. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of new stuff,” Mathews said. “Now that there’s pads, everyone’s going 100 miles an hour. There’s a little more thud in it.”
    He took several handoffs during each team period Sunday and immediately became a fan favorite, drawing applause – and a long line of autograph seekers after practice.
    “It’s crazy. I feel bad for all the people I didn’t get to,” Mathews said. “It kind of sucks that you have people calling your name and you can’t get to every single one, but it’s amazing to see how many people recognize you and look up to you.”
    Despite the off tackle move he employed to gain open space early in practice, Mathews said his favorite runs are inside.
    The linebackers gave him a few solid taps when he took the ball up the gut, Jyles Tucker said.
    “A little thud. Welcome. Hello. Hi. How are you?” Tucker said. “But nothing serious. He’s going to be a great running back, so we look forward to having him out here.”
    Fans weren’t the only ones pleased to see No. 24 on the field, Scott Mruczkowski said.
    “He was drafted for a reason. He’s going to be our running back. The more reps he can get with us, the better for him, and we’re glad he’s in here now, starting early, getting in the flow of things and getting a feel for how we block things,” Mruczkowski said. “It takes time to gel properly as an offensive line and a back, but we’re glad he’s in here and we can get started early.”
    The last of six draft picks to sign a contract, Mathews will have some makeup work during the next few days, he said, but expects to catch up fast. Earlier in the day he said he was glad to start earning his money on the field.
    The veteran players on both sides of the football are glad to see the Fresno State graduate on board along with the other selections.
    “Those guys are part of the team now,” Antoine Cason said. “Their negotiations are definitely their business, but we also want to see them here. And we want the best for them as well as they want the best for themselves.”
     
  12. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Good stuff! FEED me MORE!!

    Need Input.

    Granted there has been insane amount of give em something to talk about news in this closing weeks toward Hof game. But I need MORE!! And more camp action pics... plz.
     
  13. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    From the pictures I have seen of him in practice and of his workouts, Davis has muscled up more than a little and might not be so brittle.
     
  14. powayslugger

    powayslugger Feckless Slappy

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    Is Sproles saying we weren't good with LT carrying the ball??? Cause that's what I'm hearing.

    More anti-LT sh!t coming from the guys in the locker room???
     
  15. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Ryan Mathews was San Diego's target all along

    August, 3, 2010 By Bill Williamson
    ESPN





    SAN DIEGO -- The worst-kept secret in the NFL this offseason was San Diego’s need for a primary tailback.

    The Chargers, who were 31st in the NFL in rushing last season, cut former star LaDainian Tomlinson in February. Getting a running back was the team’s primary need.

    “Everybody knew we needed one,” San Diego general manager A.J. Smith said.

    Teams flooded Smith with trade offers. Yet, he stayed put. He had a top choice and he wanted to wait to see if he could get him before going to backup options.

    “There were some intriguing things out there,” Smith said. "But I had my guy -- I wanted Ryan Mathews.”

    Smith got him.

    Fueled by their pick at No. 40, obtained by trading never-used backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to Seattle, Smith put together a big package to send to Miami to move from No. 28 to No. 12.

    It was all designed to get Mathews. Smith said if that trade wasn’t made, he had backup plans throughout the draft in an attempt to snare Mathews.

    “If we didn’t get him, I would have gone down my list,” Smith said. “Thankfully, I didn’t have to.”

    Like San Diego coach Norv Turner, Smith thinks Mathews is a perfect fit for San Diego.

    “He can help us,” Smith said of the rookie from Fresno State. “That’s why we targeted him. He was the best fit out there of all the available guys. He’s the one.”
     

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