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Turner believes using Sproles more will help Tomlinson

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Kevin Acee

    DANA POINT – The Chargers will have the highest-paid running back tandem in the NFL in 2009, and coach Norv Turner believes it will serve them well.

    Turner doesn't believe LaDainian Tomlinson necessarily needs a caddie, but he thinks slightly expanding Darren Sproles' role will help the future Hall of Famer.

    “If you talk about being around the great backs, they're at their comfort level when they get 22, 23, 25 carries,” Turner said Tuesday at the NFL owners'meetings. “(Tomlinson) had (a career-low 292) carries last season. I'd expect him to have more. I'd expect him to be in the 320s. That's what he does. He can handle it, and he'll be prepared to handle it.

    “We have a luxury. We have a very good player in Darren Sproles. When it fits, we're going to use Darren. Over an entire season I think he can help LT carry that load.”

    Tomlinson suffered serious injuries in the first game (toe) and last game (groin) of the 2008 regular season. That limited him to a career-low 1,110 yards.

    Tomlinson, who had the final three seasons of his contract reworked this month, will make $6.725 million this season to Sproles' $6.61 million.

    He is closing in on his 30th birthday in June, and coming off the most trying physical and emotional period in his career there are questions about how he will perform.

    “I really believe that he'll have one of his better years this year,” Turner said. “I believe he can be a 1,500-yard rusher and a guy who catches 50 balls.”

    Reward for Clary

    At about the same time Turner was in a ballroom defending Jeromey Clary to the national media here, it was being announced that Clary was being rewarded in a more tangible way.

    The NFL said Clary received the largest portion of incentive-based pay in the league for the 2008 season, more than doubling his salary.

    Clary, whose base pay was $385,000 in 2008, will receive an extra $405,859 based on a formula that compares his compensation and playing time against other players on the Chargers.

    This is the second straight year Clary was the NFL's top incentive-based earner. After the 2007 season, his bonus was $253,000 on top of his $285,000 base salary.

    Clary, who last week signed a one-year contract for $475,000, has started 27 straight games at right tackle and is penciled in as the starter for '09.

    Turner has always been a passionate defender of Clary, who is often maligned as being the perceived weak link on the offensive line.

    “Jeromey Clary is a very underrated player,” Turner said. “I like Jeromey and what he does for us. We leave him by himself against a lot of good players. He held up great, and I think he's going to continue to get better.”

    Rules update

    Owners on Wednesday will consider rules changes involving draft order and the use of instant replay on balls ruled to have been dead. Tuesday, they made an “adjustment” and said defenders who are knocked to the ground no longer can lunge into quarterbacks (as Bernard Pollard did last year to Tom Brady), and also passed a handful of rules changes designed to increase player safety:

    – On kickoffs, at least three players on each side of the kicker must be outside the hash marks with one of them outside the numbers.

    – No wedge on a kickoff can consist of more than two players.

    – A blindside block is illegal if initial contact is made by a helmet, forearm or shoulder.

    – The initial hit to a defenseless receiver's head or neck area cannot be made by the helmet, shoulder or forearm.
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    State of the Chargers on NFLN tonight at 7pm EST.

    I sure as hell hope that Norv will use Sproles more to take some of the load off of LT & provide a change of pace. Would be pretty friggin' stoooooopid if he didn't.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

    Jan 19, 2008
    ...Should have been using Sproles more the last two years :icon_sad:
  4. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

    Jul 22, 2007
    Not me. I think LT need more touches than last year to be effective. Unless LT is just getting stuffed (like that Eagles game a few years back) he needs the opportunity to break a few wide open.

    I'm hoping the integration of Sproles makes other teams broaden their game plans to account for two different backs; the change of pace complicating who they account for and how they pace their game.

    LT seemed to be used really inconsistently last year... for some obvious reasons. He needs a chance to be able to find his rythm. IMO babying him until the end of the season is not the right tact.
  5. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    How about some 2 back sets at last ?!?
  6. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Nov 11, 2007
    The key to getting LT his touches AND keeping him healthy will be our front 7.

    And a defense that can get their *** off the field. We spent a whole lot of time coming from behind last season, which isn't exactly a recipe for a successful running game. Add that to LT constantly being hit behind the line of scrimmage and voila~

    Fix the lines and we will rip this league apart :yes:
  7. AnteaterRaider

    AnteaterRaider Carpe Diem et omni Mundio Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

    Jan 19, 2006
    Using more rotation with Sproles and another RB (draft?) will keep LT fresher, healthier. I think people saw in not only a duo back league how each helps but they also saw what a charged up Edgerrin James did for Arizona.

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