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The 328 all-purpose yards that Chargers running back Darren Sproles produced last night won’t matter when the Chargers face the Titans or Steelers next weekend, but their value will linger for quite a while. Sproles is a free agent following the season, and a prime-time performance like that will stick in people’s minds.
The question is how much that performance matters when weighed against other factors. The NFL Network’s Adam Schefter got an email from a NFL executive after the game which made more of his size than his yards. “Be careful spending money on the guy. He is small, 200 pounds, and if he gets the $, can he hold up and deliver for 16 plus games? “
Some people called for LaDainian Tomlinson to be traded so that the Chargers wouldn’t lose Michael Turner last offseason, something that probably won’t happen for the 5’6″ Sproles. That said, their need to have a capable backup as Tomlinson advances in years. As Sproles’ stature grows, so does his price tag, which may make for another very difficult backfield decision in San Diego.

Permalink 25 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers
  1. Spank says: Jan 4, 2009 9:47 AM

    Absolutely love the player but dont I wouldnt give him crazy coin. He’s a great change of pace back whose quick and hard to tackle. He also racked those yards up lat night against one of the most horrid run D’s in the league. I dont know if he can take a 16 game beating but I wouldnt want to be the GM on the wrong end of that guess. And he fumbled on the goal line, which LT never does regardless of what month the game is played in. I hope the Bolts can keep him in some capacity but i dont think he’s LT’s replacement. LT is having a bad year, but I guess your not allowed to have that in this league anymore. Trade LT? Seriously? Not the right move IMO.

  2. Mattmanus says: Jan 4, 2009 9:54 AM

    LT is done. Has been done for a while now.

  3. Mattmanus says: Jan 4, 2009 9:58 AM

    Everyone needs to stop the hype based on one performance! I know this guy has done well this year but we can’t run around saying that this kid is the be all end all based on one night! Haven’t we learned anything with all of the examples lately? (Reggie Bush, Derek Anderson, Matt Lienert, Tony Romo, Vince Young, Kellen Clemens, and many, many more)

  4. TheDPR says: Jan 4, 2009 10:01 AM

    Any personnel man who questions the guy’s size after seeing him play the last several years doesn’t belong in the NFL. Period. Sproles has a role and he plays it well.
    Ever heard of a guy called Brian Westbrook? Dave Meggett? Joe Morris? There are others.
    Is Sproles a 300+ carry per season guy? Probably not but in a pass-oriented offense he could certainly thrive. He had 90 touches on offense this year, plus all his KR/PR duties. I don’t think 200+ touches would be much of a problem for the guy as a RB.

  5. Tim says: Jan 4, 2009 10:08 AM

    I could see Sproles as a BWest type back (of course he doesn’t have all the physical tools), being used out of the backfield and on short passes that could go a long way. BWest is relatively small and has had trouble getting through a 16 game season as well. But he is VERY dangerous when he’s in there.
    That being said, it really does seem that RB is a dime-a-dozen position anymore, with the new trend of a 3-back system.

  6. Rossy P says: Jan 4, 2009 10:15 AM

    He wouldn’t last as an every down back, the entire seanson. You would have to be a retard to think that. This would get crushed. He a good 2nd back for fill-ins!

  7. MannyNH says: Jan 4, 2009 10:26 AM

    “Look at that little Meggett go!”

  8. jimm says: Jan 4, 2009 10:34 AM

    I’m so sick and tired hearing about how a small back can’t handle the load and will get injured – where is there any proof of this? The small backs that get a chance seem to me to be incredibly durable.
    Dunn misses 8 games in 12 years.
    Darrin Nelson misses about 5-6 games in 8 years.
    Jones-Drew misses 1 game in 3 years.
    Tiki-Barber missed 2 games in 9 years.
    Brandon Jacobs of course has missed 8 games in the last two years. But he’s big so he’s durable.
    I’d sure like to see some study that compares injury rate by size at each position. I’d bet you’d find that bigger than average players are far more prone to injury than smaller than average players.

  9. hesawinner says: Jan 4, 2009 10:37 AM

    This coming from an NFL exec that is interested in signing Sproles.

  10. jimmythe greek says: Jan 4, 2009 10:44 AM

    Isn’t that what Reggie Bush was supposed to play like?

  11. pyr8fan says: Jan 4, 2009 11:10 AM

    Sounds like an Executive with a lot of free time during the post season. With the league turning into a 2 back system, there are few teams that couldn’t use him. He was a stud at Kansas State, he is a stud in San Diego. Maybe if that Executive looked at more than height and weight…..he would have his team in the playoffs rather than working a charity car wash.
    I am a huge ECU fan and would take Sproles over that loudmouth thug, T.O. wannabe Chris Johnson any day. What will 4.24 speed get you when you are behind bars other than extra bread?

  12. GIANTS8690 says: Jan 4, 2009 11:16 AM

    The NFL EXEC was probably Howie Roseman or Mike Tanenbaum the bean counters who think they know something about the NFL. Which they dont!

  13. litzsout619 says: Jan 4, 2009 11:21 AM

    If L.t. wants a ring, he will make sure the bolts keep him, these days a two back system seems to make sense! L.t. might be #2 in the future!

  14. renaissancemanrt says: Jan 4, 2009 11:36 AM

    Like Jimmy said, isn’t that exactly what Reggie Bush is supposed to be doing? Having BIG All-Purpose games? Whenever Reggie has 100 ‘all-purpose’ yards, it’s somehow hyped into having a big game. That’s crap.

  15. Joebuck82 says: Jan 4, 2009 11:44 AM

    There’s room for him in the NFL. I dont think he’s a 300 carry/ year guy, but you have to GET HIM THE BALL. He’s one of the most dangerous players in the league with the ball in his mitts. The Chargers need to set up a Fred Taylor/Jones Drew kind of deal, to keep Tomlinson fresh and to keep Sproles in the game.

  16. pfitz says: Jan 4, 2009 11:51 AM

    And once again when push comes to shove in the playoffs LT watches from the sidelines..Two things you can count on EVERY year Favre retiring and coming back and tomlinson on the sidelines in the playoffs..This may piss off some charger fans but that is a fact.

  17. whuteva says: Jan 4, 2009 12:14 PM

    If you read Football Outsiders, you know that those backs that get all of those carries (curse of 370) tend to wear down FAST. Sproles is good for about 10-15 touches a game and proved his value to a team throughout this season.

  18. Spank says: Jan 4, 2009 12:22 PM

    …..Mattmanus says:
    LT is done. Has been done for a while now…..
    Really? I believe he led the league in rushing in 2006. Also the same year he set the record for most rushing TD’s in a season with 28. I also believe he led the league in rushing in 2007.
    What exactly is your definition of “a while now”? Hater.
    …..pfitz says:
    And once again when push comes to shove in the playoffs LT watches from the sidelines..Two things you can count on EVERY year Favre retiring and coming back and tomlinson on the sidelines in the playoffs..This may piss off some charger fans but that is a fact…..
    Really? Hardly a fact. The Chargers have had 6 playoff games with LT on their roster. He’s started all 6 of them. I am aware he only played 4 plays in the AFCCG last year. I think, although I could be wrong, that it was LT that scored the Chargers first TD last night. Funny how if your a RB and you hurt your knees or groin your labeled soft. I never quite understood that.
    Heres a fact for ya. First ballot Hall of Famer. Justified.

  19. Joebuck82 says: Jan 4, 2009 12:29 PM

    pfitz, I love how nobody remembers that in 06 against the Pats in the divisional round, the Bolts lost despite Tomlinson, who had a tremendous game, and didn’t get the ball enough that afternoon. Had Marty fed him the ball more, they would have won, and as we all can now see, would have beat Indy in the AFCCC, so calm down with the Tomlinson bashing, he has had back luck with injuries, but has NEVER missed a game to injury.

  20. empty13 says: Jan 4, 2009 1:33 PM

    joe buck, u must have missed visorbowl in the playoffs last year.
    LT has jumped the shark.

  21. JSpicoli says: Jan 4, 2009 1:53 PM

    LT has indeed seen his better days. Like we all do at some point, but you have to point it out with LT because he, like Favre, is a shameless self-lover. Did you see the look of disgust and selfishness on his facve when Sproiles scored his first TD? How about the forced smile and clapping leavign the field after the win. What a tool. LT you are not a class act.

  22. The Q-man says: Jan 4, 2009 2:32 PM

    No question about it, but the Chargers dropped the ball Turner.
    They will not repeat that with Darren.

  23. lourd says: Jan 4, 2009 3:26 PM

    How can “$” be included in a quote Florio? Put the word in, cash, money dollars, etc.

  24. E-Nasty says: Jan 5, 2009 5:18 AM

    Someone should tell Reggie Bush that he needs to play Slot Receiver. He’s a mediocre RB at the NFL level. I think Brees to Bush could be a great combination.

  25. renard says: Jan 5, 2009 9:22 AM

    “Someone should tell Reggie Bush that he needs to play Slot Receiver. He’s a mediocre RB at the NFL level. I think Brees to Bush could be a great combination.”

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