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Ryan Mathews reminds Norv Turner of Ricky Williams

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The Chargers haven’t made any secret of their desire to use running back Ryan Mathews more often this season.

We’re getting more of an idea of just how big a role they expect Mathews to play. Coach Norv Turner’s history is studded with running backs carrying the ball more than 300 times. Emmitt Smith, Ricky Williams and Frank Gore all topped that number in offenses run by Turner and Mathews told Peter King that Turner is thinking about one of those backs when he looks forward to the 2012 season.

“Coach Turner’s coached a lot of great backs,” Mathews told King for King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column. “He’s told me I remind him of Ricky Williams, which is the kind of back I would like to be. In college I was a workhorse back. I believe I can do that here. My training has really improved, and I’ve set high standards for myself. I shouldn’t come off the field at all this year.”

There would appear to be two potential stumbling blocks to Mathews becoming the bell cow in San Diego. The nagging injuries that have held Mathews back in his first two seasons would be one concern and his 10 fumbles over those two years would be the other. Both of those things could become major problems with that kind of workload so Mathews still has to prove he’s up to the task that the Chargers have carved out for him.

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25 Responses to “Ryan Mathews reminds Norv Turner of Ricky Williams”
  1. rjg427 says: Jun 4, 2012 10:21 AM

    Turner says this every year at this time…and then like an idiot i draft this guy..he gets hurt, rivers throws the ball, and I will continue to buy this line each year at this time..Norv Turner stinks at coaching and making season predictions

  2. jolink653 says: Jun 4, 2012 10:32 AM

    i’m guessing he reminds norv turner of the ricky williams from the year and a half he was retired?

    this guy is never on the field because he can’t stay healthy and now he’ll get the bulk of the carries with tolbert gone to carolina? don’t see that working out well at all

  3. joetoronto says: Jun 4, 2012 10:40 AM

    Norv Turner is a joke, this proves it yet again.

    “Super Bowl Express”, LOL!

  4. getthegleam says: Jun 4, 2012 10:44 AM

    Is that a good or bad thing?

  5. str8cashomie2 says: Jun 4, 2012 10:45 AM

    I actually think Mathews has performed about appropriate for his draft slot and is primed for a big year. People looking to bash him just like to hate on AJ…trust me as a San Diegan non-Charger fan

  6. st1llerz1 says: Jun 4, 2012 10:51 AM

    Rumor has it that Norv took a look into Ryan’s basement and saw a most excellent crop growing there. Yep, just like Ricky!!

    This guy is a tool. Phillip Rivers is a top 10 quarterback and he’s not going to win a thing with Norvus leading the way. Let’s hope the San Diego brass keeps him right there!

    GO STEELERS!

  7. larrybrown43 says: Jun 4, 2012 11:05 AM

    Mr Alpner,

    You forgot Stephen Davis 2000 & 2001 and Terry Allen 1995 & 1996.

  8. yelix says: Jun 4, 2012 11:06 AM

    So he’s a disappointment that they traded too much for, and he won’t be good until he’s playing for a different team?

  9. rayguyreturns says: Jun 4, 2012 11:11 AM

    Did Norv really say this?
    Which Ricky Williams is he talking about?

  10. sportsmeccabi says: Jun 4, 2012 11:37 AM

    Can anyone blame Ricky Williams for retiring for a year and a half? He got over 800 touches in the 2 year stretch before his first retirement.
    I actually think that is what allowed him to prolong his career.

  11. citnetter says: Jun 4, 2012 11:40 AM

    I’ll believe it when I see it. For now, I drafted Edwin Baker in my keeper Dynasty league as a placeholder on the possibility that Mathews will be, well, Mathews and be on the sideline injured.

  12. kcfanatic says: Jun 4, 2012 11:48 AM

    I forgot that Turner was still coaching. I guess he has been on the hot seat so long that in my mind he was fired 2-3 years ago.

  13. cannonballdookie says: Jun 4, 2012 11:49 AM

    He can possibly be a top 3 RB this season with his combination of talent and great situation.

  14. tilafoo says: Jun 4, 2012 12:03 PM

    Turner needs to utilize Jacob Hester as a true running back. His talent is being wasted as a blocking back.

  15. dumbolt says: Jun 4, 2012 12:18 PM

    there is also a 3rd thing….the chargers still suck.

  16. mullman7675 says: Jun 4, 2012 12:38 PM

    @cannonballdookie: You must be high to say something like that. Matthews will be lucky to finish in the top 20 in the league. Also, not quite sure of the “great situation” you speak of.

    Either way, this guy will never have the career that Ricky has had, no way.

  17. jameslongstaffe says: Jun 4, 2012 12:39 PM

    To a certain extent injuries are unpredictable, but I am not concerned about his ability to handle the load. He’ll be a 3 down back but I think that Norv will be creative with how he uses Mathews. He’ll get touches between the tackles & in the screen game, but I don’t think they plan on pounding him against a wall. LeRon McClain will get some of that in short yardage. He has breakaway speed & power so that he is dangerous in space, & with the receivers at the disposal of Rivers… there will be some of that pasture available.

  18. sdb0ltz says: Jun 4, 2012 1:05 PM

    You guys are out of your mind! You may not be a Charger fan, but dont make yourself look foolish with blind comments.

    Matthews had barely over 50% of the rushing attempts last year and still put up 1100 rushing yards with a 5 yards per attempt average. And that was on a bad ankle for half the year!

    Not one RB with more yards had fewer attempts. He’s only in his 2nd year with a makeshift/revolving door offense line full of no names and you want to knock this guy?

    Get real, stop being a hater.

    This guy has a better YPA than Stephen Jackson, Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Lesean McCoy, Adrian friggin Petersen, Jones-Drew, Frank Gore, Beanie Wells, Michael Turner… shall I continue?

  19. ia517 says: Jun 4, 2012 1:32 PM

    Nice to see there are still clueless people on the internet.
    Bash Mathews all you want, but the guy was 7th in the NFL last year in yards from scrimmage (5th among RBs) while missing a couple games and having to share carries with Tolbert, not really much more anyone can ask for

    If he plays 16 games next, i fully expect him to be in contention for the rushing title

  20. jwreck says: Jun 4, 2012 1:34 PM

    str8cashomie2 says: Jun 4, 2012 10:45 AM
    I actually think Mathews has performed about appropriate for his draft slot and is primed for a big year. People looking to bash him just like to hate on AJ…trust me as a San Diegan non-Charger fan
    _____

    About appropriate for his draft slot? Really? The number 12 overall pick? Other recent picks in the vicinity include: Ryan Clady (12, 2008), Brian Orakpo (13, 2009), Patrick Willis (11, 2007), and Jonathan Stewart (13, 2008). Though I have nothing against the guy and wish him good luck in 2012, to say that Ryan Mathews has performed appropriately for the number 12 overall pick is simply absurd.

    If you’re talking only about tailbacks, however, you do have a point, just not the one you think you’re making. There are three recent runningbacks taken around number twelve overall,and though it’s probably too early to say, there’s a good chance Williams follows one of their career paths. Knowshon Moreno went at number 12 in 2009, and is a pretty significant bust. Marshawn Lynch was picked twelfth in 2007, and, after underperforming for a few years in Buffalo, now seems like he’s coming into his own as a legitimate starting back. However, you also have to stack Mathews up next to Jonathan Stewart (13, 2008). Despite a successful committee system in Carolina and the presence of RB guru John Fox, Stewart has always played like the thirteenth overall pick.

    Then there are the guys who came later. Without diving fully into the bottomless waters of draft day tailback steals, other recent running backs picked in the first or second round, but outside of the top ten, include Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, and DeAngelo Williams. So to say Ryan Mathews has not fulfilled his potential as the twelfth player taken in the draft is obviously completely accurate. However, it is not necessarily a knock on Mathews as a person, a player, or on his potential and NFL future.
    ____
    yelix says: Jun 4, 2012 11:06 AM

    So he’s a disappointment that they traded too much for, and he won’t be good until he’s playing for a different team?
    ______
    Very well put, that was exactly what I was planning to write until I saw you had beaten me to the punch. Clearly Norv Turner puts more energy into thinking up clever passing plays for Philip Rivers than clever analogies for the media.

  21. sdb0ltz says: Jun 4, 2012 1:56 PM

    Not to mention he doesnt even have a lead blocker!!! Now that we have a real blocking FB in McClain… watch out.

  22. sdb0ltz says: Jun 4, 2012 2:03 PM

    Wow Jwreck… you typed all that garbage just to backtrack on the last sentence of that book you wrote?

    “However, it is not necessarily a knock on Mathews as a person, a player, or on his potential and NFL future.:

    Typical “Cover all bases” forum rat. Speak with vindiction just to pull out in the end.. SMH.

  23. humb0lt says: Jun 4, 2012 3:12 PM

    Ryan Mathews does have to stay on the field more, especially with Tolbert gone. At this point, unless and until AJ signs another RB to serve as Mathews’ primary back up, I am concerned about the depth behind Ryan, esp. given the time he as missed due to injury in his first two seasons.

    But compared to other premiere backs in the division – Jamaal Charles and Darren McFadden – Mathews is the iron man. He’s never suffered a major injury that ended his season, nor has he ever had surgery.

    I’m not forgetting about Willis McGahee, who impresses me that he can still play on a high level at his age. But Ryan Mathews is going to take his game to another level in 2012. He is going to become a force to reckon with in the AFC.

    The Super Bowl Express starts in San Diego when the Chargers open training camp on July 25.

  24. jwreck says: Jun 4, 2012 5:59 PM

    Wow Jwreck… you typed all that garbage just to backtrack on the last sentence of that book you wrote?
    “However, it is not necessarily a knock on Mathews as a person, a player, or on his potential and NFL future.:
    Typical “Cover all bases” forum rat. Speak with vindiction just to pull out in the end.. SMH.
    _______
    Wow sdboltz, you typed all that garbage just to skip over the second to last sentence of that “book” I wrote? Typically, when two sentences are next to each other, they go together. What I said was ” [Mathews] has [not yet] fulfilled his potential as the [No. 12 overall pick]… However, [that] is not necessarily a knock on Mathews as a person, a player, or on his potential and NFL future.” And my final sentence was actually pretty similar to remarks I made earlier on in the paragraph, such as “Though I have nothing against the guy and wish him good luck in 2012″ and “though it’s probably too early to say [if he's a bust]“.

    It’s called being evenhanded, not covering all bases, and it’s a mark of good writing. Covering all bases is “T.O. annoys me. He’s a bad football player, and a locker room cancer, but I like the guy, and I think he should get a shot in the NFL.”

    Evenhandedness is balancing an argument by showing that you have no personal biases about the subject. If I had written the same piece about Mathews not yet living up to the hype and then closed out my argument with “I hate Ryan Mathews: he looks weird, he stole my girlfriend, and I hope he dies in a car accident,” my entire piece would lack credibility and readers would not take me seriously because of my strong feelings about my subject. However being fair, balanced, and evenhanded lends credence to your writing, and forces the reader to consider your opinion, rather than dismiss it as trash-talk or a puff piece.

    The piece I wrote was critical of Mathews’ play during his first two seasons. Therefore, I balanced myself out throughout the piece: strengthening my argument by making it clear I have no feelings on Mathews or the Chargers, and that all I’m criticizing is the idea that Mathews has played at an acceptable level for the twelfth overall pick over the last two seasons.

    Not quite sure what “vindiction” is, probably because it isn’t a word, but if it’s anything like vindictiveness, then yeah, that’s the whole point, I’m not vindictive. Vindictive is not convincing. Vindictive is “The Cowboys suck and their fan base is a bunch of rednecks.” Unfortunately, vindictiveness much more common on PFT than balanced, reasonable, and well thought-out arguments: leading me to believe that I am not actually a “typical forum rat”, which is a huge relief.

    So you’re welcome for the English lesson. Maybe next time you can stop being so full of “vindiction” and we can talk about football instead of semantics. Of course that would require you to read what I write, rather than skimming to the last line and bashing the whole piece. This has not been, however, a knock on sdboltz as a person, a player, or on his potential as a good person to talk football with. Wait, no, kidding, it totally has been. If somebody has taken the time to think out a clever opinion piece on one of your players, you can at least have the decency to read it before you trash it.

  25. johnabauer1959 says: Jun 5, 2012 12:18 AM

    Hey, Ryan Mathews, is a good guy ever read his story about how he helped his mom after he turned pro ? John in Pittsburgh Pa here. GO CHARGERS! ! !

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