Last year’s No. 12 overall pick, Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno, didn’t sign his rookie contract until about two weeks into training camp. Seven days after signing, Moreno suffered a sprained MCL in Denver’s preseason opener and missed the next three weeks of practice.
This year’s No. 12 overall pick, Chargers tailback Ryan Mathews, vows to not walk in Moreno’s footsteps.
“My main thing is to get into camp as soon as possible,” Mathews told Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’ve talked to my agent; I need to be there. Too many guys hold out for all the wrong reasons and I’m not going to be one of them.”
Chargers rookies are scheduled to report July 25th.
Canepa’s piece on Mathews could be construed as something of a puff piece, entitled “Chargers’ Mathews not likely to go bad” and aimed at pumping up the 2009 NCAA rushing leader’s character. Canepa, though, is not known for approaching his columns with rose-colored glasses. After all, he made no bones about predicting two Januaries ago that franchise icon LaDainian Tomlinson would be released. The Chargers and L.T. ultimately agreed to a restructured contract, but Canepa’s bold forecast — even a year too early — showed that he is not afraid to make predictions that defy popular opinion.
According to Canepa, Mathews has his “head squarely on his shoulders,” “takes everything seriously,” and “was not overwhelmed” during minicamp season. It sounds like the Chargers have a keeper.