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Sproles, Hester, and Thomas

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Deb, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. Deb

    Deb BoltTalker

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    Sproles, Hester, and Thomas

    by Jeff Williams

    Depth to AJ Smith is like gas for your car. You have to have it, even if it costs more than you want to pay. Last year Michael Turner got a rewarding 1-year contract to remain in San Diego as LT’s backup. This year, with Turner’s departure and a big question mark surrounding the back-up running back position, AJ spent extra to obtain a 3rd round draft pick for LSU’s Jacob Hester, a running back-slash-fullback. And that “slash” has made for more than a few conversations discussing just what role Hester will play on this team. Along with Hester, the Chargers’ RB depth behind LaDainian Tomlinson includes 4-year veteran Darren Sproles and 5th round pick Marcus Thomas. Andrew Pinnock will start at fullback.


    When you talk about running back depth, you talk about running backs with diverse running styles to throw at a defense. You know, combine the smaller, faster guy with the heavier, bruising back. This backfield has a number of different running styles to complement an already strong offense. LT and Sproles give you speed. LT and Hester have the hands you want to see in the passing game. Hester and Thomas have the size to move the pile when needed. The only real question to ask now is, “Who is actually backing up LT?” I think the answer depends on the situation.


    [​IMG]

    The drafting of a unique back like Hester (left), along with the growth we saw in Sproles last year, gives Coach Norv added flexibility on offense. And those are just the guys backing up the reigning NFL rushing champ. There is no clear-cut number-2 on the depth chart, and that might actually be an advantage.

    It cost them 5th round pick this year and a 2nd round pick next year to get the talent AJ wanted. It might have cost them more than they wanted to spend, but to get championship-style depth you know you’re going to pay for it.


    LINK
     
  2. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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    Good on ya, A.J.!
     
  3. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    I love Jacob Hester. I predict that he will sell more jerseys than any other Charger rookie, even though Antoine Cason was drafted higher.

    :tup:
     
  4. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

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    BTW... I suspect Sproles will get more touches than he did a year ago, and of course, Hester will get more touches than Lo Neal did last year. With Pinnock here, I wonder whether Thomas makes the squad.
     
  5. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    Neither one (Hester, Cason) has a jersey listed for sale on eBay.
     
  6. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    I'll be shocked if Sproles gets more offensive touches than Hester.
     
  7. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    agree... and along those lines - I'd be shocked if Pinnock got many touches...

    LT & Hester = Lowe & Lincoln... it worked out pretty well then...:bolt:
     
  8. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    I think (if healthy) that Pinnock will get some touches, but still not more than Hester.

    Lincoln and Lowe .... wouldn't we love to see that again :bolt:
     
  9. sickswonnyne

    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I'm hoping Thomas becomes our next Burner Turner. Lower round big-backs from smaller schools, but Thomas is much taller and has receiving skills. He maybe a better receiver than Hester is made out to be.

    Why are everyone's Hester expectations so high? I'm rooting for him to do well also, but is he really gonna be this fan favorite, big play guy he being hyped up to be? I never really watch college football, so if he was like that there, then I guess it's justified. But from clips I've seen, he maybe a less skilled Brian Leonard. Which is still good, but nowhere near the hype he's getting.

    I don't wanna be "that guy," but maybe his race may have something to do with it? I hope this is a moot-point and he wins me over and all that, but I have slightly higher hopes that Thomas is the better RB, while Hester is a better hybrid FB/RB than Pinnock.
     
  10. Shamrock

    Shamrock Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of the same guys who are high on Hester are also high on Waters.

    I really don't think it's a race issue at all. It's that both are football players that excelled at their schools.
     
  11. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Pinnock may not be healthy and right now, based on what has been seen so far and what I've read between the lines, Pinnock will struggle to make the roster if he isn't stashed on IR. Race is absolutely not even a superficial consideration.
     
  12. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    We had 5 RB last year, we'll have 5 this year.

    We lost Michael Turner to free agency and released Lo Neal.

    So, Hester and Thomas take their roster spots.

    The fact that only L.T. and Pinnock are "for sure" the #1 RB and #1 FB on the team means that Norv can use Hester, Thomas, and Sproles in whatever fashion he feels and it will give opposing DC more headaches.

    One week or even quarter by quarter in a game, Hester may be the #2 RB, another week, it's Thomas, and maybe even Sproles for the opponent or two that is susceptible to a Rivers-Sproles screen pass for a TD (Colts).
     
  13. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Jacob Hester did a lot of things as workhorse for LSU, especially last season when he was the starting tailback for the Tigers. He can catch passes as well as run. As a junior he played both the tailback and fullback positions equally well.
     
  14. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    You're right about the numbers. Probably won't be many dropped from the roster at LB or DB, either. Maybe one LB, but the DB's look like a stable group. In fact, I'll do some more staring at the depth chart, but it seems to me almost all this roster is stable, given the fact that there will inevitably be space created by injuries. The only draft choice that I can see on the PS, barring injury, is Clark. The rest of that squad will be FA's.
     
  15. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    Be that as it may, I was the one who correctly predicted that Eric Weddle would sell more jerseys than Buster Davis, so I know what I'm talking about.
     
  16. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    I'm still reserving judgement on Pinnock. It is tough for a running back to come back from a torn ACL in such a short period of time.

    That's what is great about Hester, he can fill just about any RB role for us.
     
  17. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Fortunately, Pinnock won't be asked to do much running, not like LT, Hester, Thomas, or Sproles on returns. Blocking though can still stress out that knee, but hopefully, he won't have to doing much cutting.
     
  18. Thread_Killer

    Thread_Killer Well-Known Member

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    Pinnock will have to move laterally without hindrance, or he won't be able to block. I'm not counting on him to open the season as our starting FB.
     
  19. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, in that case it looks like we'll be seeing Hester a lot at the FB position with Thomas as the #2 RB.
     
  20. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

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    The only part race plays is that people judge him negatively because he is white. The fact is white Running backs, CBs, and Safeties are not judged athletic or as good as those of African American decent. Hester is judged as too slow and not a top RB because he is white. In fact part of the reason he is considered a FB is because he is white, if he was black I think he would be a bruising RB. Same thing with Weddle. People thought he couldn't hit hard enough and was "slow" because he was white. Even though he had a high cone and other speed and strength measures in the combine.
     
  21. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    John Riggins was white and he did ok. it's not what color you are, it's who wants it more. Look back through the history of sports and you will find many great white players, Italian players, American Native players and black players. Race has little to do with it, education is a key factor. it's wasn't to long ago that Irish folks were looked down upon in this nation, if you don't believe me, check and see who helped build the railroads.

    Yes this country has used people of all different ethnic backgrounds, but that is what separates of from the rest. We are a people of one nation and to discredit that is a shame. No, it wasn't always pretty, but we are making huge strides in turning the tide and I for one and damn proud of it.

    I did not mean to go off, if I offended anyone tough poo-poo
     
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  22. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand the perception about "white" FB being not as good.

    Maybe someone can ask Tom Rathman, Daryl "Moose" Johnston, and Mike Alstott, and John Riggins was mentioned, about being "white" RB/FB. Multiple Pro-Bowl selections and SB rings come to mind.
     
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  23. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    Like I said, it's who wants it more. Color has nothing to do with it.
     
  24. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    no doubt - he's already been cut...
     
  25. sickswonnyne

    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

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    Haha I thought he meant Germaine Race for a second too.

    And to all, I'm not saying that Whites or European-Americans or whatever can't be as good RBs as Blacks. And I know that there is this (unfair? undeserved?) image that Whiteboys aren't good RBs or CBs, just good as blocking backs or an Archuleta/ John Lynch type safety, and that there are a few who can break past the "barrier".

    But my main question is, why is Hester such a fan favorite? Is it because he is a skilled player, or because he is a WHITE skill player? In other words, is he a just a "Great White Hope?"

    I read that he's this hard-working, intelligent player who may not run, jump, or juke especially well, but he has HEART. He's a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, very versatile, physically limited player. So why all the hype? Does his determination really make him that much of a fan-favorite, so he will be the most popular rookie, with sooo many jerseys selling? Or is it that the largely white fan base can connect to a player who they can see themselves in, a "regular Joe" who is running the rock at RB?

    I only ask because I'm not seeing the hype, at least not yet. I think he's gonna be a good player, look what A.J. gave up to get him, but people are saying he will be this Paul Lowe clone who everyone will love. I see a clock-eating, durable big-back who will spell LT and catch dump-off passes, and be a steady blocker. A more skilled Manumaleuna who fills his role perfectly. But nowhere near a star. A fan-favorite like Lorenzo Neal was, ok sure. But a huge jersey-seller? Why?
     
  26. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

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    Hester's a fan favorite because most of us do also watch college football and have seen how productive he's been as both a starting FB and RB at LSU.

    He comes from a college that now annually competes for the national championship, is versatile (running as a FB, running as a RB, catching passes, blocking), and hasn't been a "troubled youth" in college (no arrests, fights, or drug related issues). He was the starting FB as a junior, and then the starting tailback as a senior on that national championship team. He was the "go to" guy in the national championship game, so he has established a history of performing in important games, not shrinking away in fear.

    Because of all that, most of us are really excited to see how well Norv can use him, and Norv himself has expressed joy at all the possibilities. I do believe that Hester can wind up as Norv's Charger equivalent of Daryl "Moose" Johnston.
     
  27. HEXEDBOLT

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

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    If he can be our Rocky Beleir I'll be happy.
     
  28. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    I think Sproles will fill a vital role as a third down specialist ala Ronnie Harmon.

    Lots of swing passes to get the little guy in the open and watch out!!

    :abq2::abq1::abq2::abq1:
     
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  29. Osmekaman

    Osmekaman BoltTalker

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    Every year coaches blether on about designing plays to get other backs touches or finding ways of getting the ball to other guys. Truth be told, every year LT gets the call almost every time. Barring injury or the occaisional breather he gets all the carries. This is rightly so as we are frequently told that RB's need to get into the rhythm of the game, plus the fact he is such a special back.

    One thing glaringly obvious early on last season was the coaches inability to change to something different when teams zeroed in on LT. Hopefully they learned from this (and Sproles gamebreaking performance in the playoffs) and for once will try to utilise all the talents.

    As for Hester being loved - could it be that people love their althletes who leave it all on the field and give 100% effort every time. People can relate to this so much easier than many prima-donnas blessed with skills they don't fully use. I can't believe race is an issue.
     
  30. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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