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A.J. Smith puts Mathews on notice for fumbling problems


The Chargers think Ryan Mathews is talented, but not so talented they’re willing to overlook his biggest flaw.

And general manager A.J. Smith has expressed that in the strongest terms, putting Mathews on notice that his fumbling problems won’t be tolerated for long.

It has to stop. I believe you can improve in ball security. And no one works any harder in trying to get better than Ryan. However, if it continues he will play less,” Smith told Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego.  “Extremely talented players like Ryan get multiple opportunities to improve.

“What happens to fumblers is, first, they play less. Second, if it continues while they’re playing on a limited basis, then you don’t play for a while and you get to sit and think about it. Third, when you get the call to go back on the field and the fumbling continues, then you will be somebody else’s fumbler.”

Whoa, tell us how you really fell, A.J.

When Mathews fumbled in the red zone last week against the Falcons, it was his 11th in 27 career games, the sixth he had lost and the third he lost inside the 20.

Then again, Smith was the guy who traded up 16 spots in the first round to take Mathews 12th overall.

So maybe if Mathews doesn’t get a grip on the ball, Smith might become somebody else’s bad-trade maker.

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36 Responses to “A.J. Smith puts Mathews on notice for fumbling problems”
  1. steelerdynasty2010 says: Sep 28, 2012 10:46 AM

    needs to spend some time with Green-Ellis

  2. imjinbrdgr says: Sep 28, 2012 11:01 AM

    I guess the Chargers have 2 coaches. It’s not the GM’s job to correct fumbling. You can see why the Bolt’s will never win a Super Bowl with this guy in charge. It’s his job to provide the players, shut the Hell up and let the coaches coach.

  3. gojags says: Sep 28, 2012 11:08 AM

    AJ: Stop your outspoken mouth. You have been doing this for a while on Great players like LT, Brees etc. You will be heading someones Scouting department not too long from now.

  4. ambitoos says: Sep 28, 2012 11:11 AM

    Is this AJ Smith or Jerry Jones?

  5. sd1024 says: Sep 28, 2012 11:11 AM

    Play Curtis Brinkley more. The guy is versatile and capable enough to handle more of a role than hes getting.

  6. nflofficeadmin says: Sep 28, 2012 11:15 AM

    LT never had that problem.

  7. liltaz27 says: Sep 28, 2012 11:18 AM

    Never mind Smith’s greatest fumble… Keeping that joker of a coach. But don’t worry that fumble will cost them both their jobs when they go 8-8 again!

  8. bgoochy says: Sep 28, 2012 11:19 AM

    Between Mathews’ constant nagging injuries and fumbling problems he seems pretty overrated to me.

  9. kelvinmchale says: Sep 28, 2012 11:28 AM

    It’s Smith’s job to evaluate players. That’s exactly what he’s doing.

  10. mazblast says: Sep 28, 2012 11:29 AM

    Way to undermine your already-on-the-hot-seat coach, A.J. Perhaps you think that if you throw Norv under the bus, it’ll save your job?

  11. rexgrossman8 says: Sep 28, 2012 11:33 AM

    Someone needs to put AJ Smith on notice for being a mediocre GM.

  12. xpensivewinos says: Sep 28, 2012 11:38 AM

    Don’t worry Ryan, A.J. has been on notice for his fumbling and bumbling for years and he’s still around…….

  13. davikes says: Sep 28, 2012 11:39 AM

    Matthews will make the pro bowl on his next team. That’s how AJ does it. He’s great at finding talent for other teams.

  14. noreasterforlife says: Sep 28, 2012 11:49 AM

    A.J. Smith needs to stop fumbling himself. Quite the fumble when you fired Schottenheimer after 14-2 season huh A.J.? Where have you been since?
    A.J. Smith is a bum and should be fumlbed out of S.D.
    Bye bye Bree’s ( lost SB opportunity) Bye Bye Eli (Lost 2 SB opportunities).

  15. sd1024 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:00 PM

    Eli wasnt going to play for SD anyway…he should have picked Ben over Rivers though

  16. themage78 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:03 PM

    Aj should’ve been fired long ago. To get rid of Scottenhiemer after a 14-2 season because he had one bad game is dumb.

  17. troy43mvp says: Sep 28, 2012 12:06 PM

    Coming from a guy that can’t beat Tebow for the division. Instead he passes on Brees and couldn’t draft Eli because the great football minds made the Mannings mad when they drafted Ryan Leaf before Peyton. Wait a minute though we have a coach that goes 14 and 2 …..What to do? What to do? Keep making these bone headed decisions Smith as the rest of the AFC likes not having to worry about your team come playoffs. Heck even Matt Millens laughing.

  18. bgr3232 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:06 PM

    He was actually drafted 12th overall. So get your facts straight

  19. lippy4246 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:17 PM

    LT never had that problem.


    Hmmmmmm…..True, Lawrence Taylor never fumbled

  20. joetoronto says: Sep 28, 2012 12:19 PM

    Talk about disfunction, wow.

    Who’s the HC of this team, Norval or AJ?

    Just move, baby!

  21. ghostofgilchrist says: Sep 28, 2012 12:29 PM

    I never thought I’d recommend this to anyone…but maybe he should call Tiki. He had the same problem, and got it corrected.

  22. dougydougdoug says: Sep 28, 2012 12:31 PM

    AJ should fire that guy who traded up to draft him.

  23. purplekoolaid1 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:34 PM

    It was obvious that this guy was a reach in his rookie season. Made of glass and can’t hold onto the ball. A recipe for a bust.

  24. zinn22 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:35 PM

    Its rare to find a GM that is so lacking in personal skills as Smith. He constantly picks fights with people. He must be one of the most disliked GMs in the league. It is amazing he has held his job this long.

  25. rjg427 says: Sep 28, 2012 12:42 PM

    I believe Archie Manning said it best..”AJ Smith is the Lord of No Rings”

  26. roll619 says: Sep 28, 2012 1:01 PM

    troy43mvp, Peyton was picked 1st overall in ’98, Ryan Leaf went 2nd after the Chargers traded up. Get your facts straight.

  27. bryans49ers says: Sep 28, 2012 1:03 PM

    You know what happens to bad GMs? They get fired and eventually ran out of the league. Smith has been arguably the GM that has FUMBLED on more coaching and player moves than any other GM in recent memory

  28. inkpad619 says: Sep 28, 2012 1:07 PM


    The Colts had the #1 pick and chose Peyton over Ryan Leaf.


  29. draftday2004 says: Sep 28, 2012 1:07 PM


    why don’t you stick to your own team because you obviously don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    Peyton was the 1st pick in that draft. Chargers needed a QB so they had to go with Leaf…the 2ND pick.

    Brees was coming off a shoulder/arm injury and thus he was let go as a free agent.

    Marty ball was a perrennial loser come play off time.

    wow..that last line….what a burn…Matt Millen is laughing at AJ huh….The guy who drafted 3 1st round WR busts in a row is gonna laugh at the guy who still has a job..


  30. gates85 says: Sep 28, 2012 1:10 PM

    The man is a bust. Ryan runs hard but he’s either injured or fumbling the ball.

  31. bolts0621 says: Sep 28, 2012 1:20 PM

    As a Bolts fan I can tell you herein lies the problem with the Chargers. You have the idiot GM trying to thrust himself into the news and into on field activity instead of minding his own business and letting the Coach do his job.

    Mathews is under contract – he should be managed by Norv Turner not a wanna-be Coach who’s the GM

    He and Norv will be gone the Monday after the season ends. We deserve better.

  32. thehouseofho says: Sep 28, 2012 1:28 PM

    ghostofgilchrist says:
    Sep 28, 2012 12:29 PM
    I never thought I’d recommend this to anyone…but maybe he should call Tiki. He had the same problem, and got it corrected.
    Norv should call Coughlin since Tom was the one who corrected Tiki’s fumbling problem.

  33. brassknuckles47 says: Sep 28, 2012 7:25 PM

    The absolute BEST thing that could happen to Ryan Mathews is to leave the Chargers!

    And, AJ….talk like you have some smarts.

  34. drogers17 says: Sep 29, 2012 12:05 AM

    Stop whining AJ Smith this is your guy, you drafted him in the first round….you’ve been letting playmakers walk out the door left and right decent rb playmakers like Sproles, Tolbert, Turner still in or entering their prime. And of course receiver Vincent Jackson. I know Sproles was franchise tagged but still. What are the chances of a talent like Sproles or walking thru the door again? What about a terrific receiver like Vincent Jackson? How about keeping some of that talent home rather than watching it walk out the door thru free agency. The only one that should be walking out the door for the final time NEVER to return again is YOU.

  35. mullman76 says: Sep 29, 2012 1:32 AM

    Love it.

    The slide continues..

  36. Ashley says: Oct 6, 2012 4:06 PM

    I hope the Chargers get rid of Smith and Turner before the move to LA.

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