Chargers replace Tomlinson, not offensive line

The Chargers haven’t appreciated LaDainain Tomlinson’s legacy-damaging words since leaving San Diego, but they’ve stayed quiet on the issue.

The team’s actions on draft weekend did all the talking for them.

Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union Tribune has a great piece pointing out that the Chargers didn’t draft a single offensive lineman over the weekend.  Unlike Tomlinson, the front office doesn’t think the pass-blocking lineman or play-calling hampered their running game last year. Tomlinson did.

“I expect us to be a real good running football team next year,” Norv Turner said.  (The Chargers had the worst running attack last year.)

Norv Turner loves power running, despite Tomlinson’s words.  Turner wouldn’t say first-round pick Ryan Mathews has what Tomlinson now lacks, but he didn’t have to.

“I’m not going to get into that. I know [Mathews] ran 4.37,” Turner said.  “He ran in the 4.4s consistently. . . .  He’s got the juice to go all
the way. He’s got the power to run inside. He’s a complete back.”

18 responses to “Chargers replace Tomlinson, not offensive line

  1. Unlike Tomlinson, the front office doesn’t think the pass-blocking lineman or play-calling hampered their running game last year. Tomlinson did.
    Of course. That explains why Sproles had an YPC a full yard below his career average. It must have been all LT. The line’s crappy blocking didn’t have anything to do with it.

  2. You might want to take a look at the list of injuries on both sides of the ball for the Chargers last year. How many games did Hardwick miss? How many games did Jamal Williams miss?
    Injuries were the primary cause for the Chargers problem running the ball. That, and an over the hill running back who apparently hasn’t faced the possibility that he might not be the player he once was.

  3. Of course Norv is pass happy, just look at the teeny tiny amount of yards Emmitt ran for when Turner was the OC in Dallas, or the meager number Stephen Davis had when Norv was the HC in Washington, and come to think of it, Norv barely used Ricky Williams in Miami… sure, it’s all true… in Bizarro World.

  4. That’s right…LT will have NO excuse for why the Chargers running game bounces back this season except for the fact that he is no good anymore.

  5. McDaniels took the other route replacing the entire O-line.
    A sane betting man would put his money on A. J. Smith making the better decision.

  6. First, they were ranked 31st last year in rushing, not 32nd. Second, the left side of the line has been the same, with MacNeil at tackle, Dielman at guard, and Hardwick at center, since 2006, LT’s MVP season. Mike Goff and Shane Olivea were on the right. 2007, LT led the NFL in rushing again, but Olivea was replaced mid-season by Jeromey Clary. Louis Vasquez replaced Goff last year, but the left side is still the same. The Power-O play that LT favors goes to the left……always has. Also, the O-line has been good enough to allow Rivers to be an MVP-caliber QB. So isn’t it just a little possible that Norv and the boys might actually know what they’re doing, and LT is just a little sour? Look , I love LT. I loved watching him no matter what people were saying. But time is cruel, and without Lorenzo Neal, he suffered. But he didn’t need LoNeal his first 3 years, and neither will Mathews. There’s a gem in Mike Tolbert, and he’ll make the holes young Mr. Mathews needs.

  7. Yes, I agree. No offense to Tomlinson, he turned this franchise into what it is today, but clearly he has lost his step. But our o line is as solid as it gets the only thing missing on our run block is Lorenzo. But clearly with LT mentally he needed a change. I believe by the way Norv turned us into a passing team it hurt LT mentally. I’m excited to see what Mathews has to offer he’s a guy that can get us those 3-4 yards.

  8. Ryan Matthews is injury prone.. Has gotten injured each yr of his college days.
    I dont think he is worth a 1st rd pick. But SD was desperate and scared that he wasnt going to be there at their pick.
    Rookie of the Yr.. NOT
    Bad pick for SD.
    SD Draft Grade B+
    KC Draft Grade B-
    Den Draft Grade C
    Oak Draft Grade A+

  9. Everyone forgets what a total jerk AJ Smith was prior to last season to LT2. Yes, his skill deteriorated. It happens to every player at some point. Smith should have said nothing and maybe LT2 would have said nothing and both guys would have said things that are classless.
    Of course, then it wouldn’t be so entertaining and I don’t like San Diego running anyway. Go Passing Offense!

  10. It’s always fun to listen to the fairweather Chargers’ whiners on forums. They are drinking the AJ Koolaid right up until they have little improvement in the running game. Only then will they start whining again on their own forums.

  11. With Turner as HC and Rivers at QB, we should expect them to continue doing what they have done in the past
    Do great in the regular season and get EXTREMELY hot late….only to flop in the Playoffs

  12. # SC21 says: April 25, 2010 4:45 PM
    “Of course. That explains why Sproles had an YPC a full yard below his career average. It must have been all LT. The line’s crappy blocking didn’t have anything to do with it.”
    Took the words right out of my mouth. Everybody conveniently ignores the fact that the supposedly explosive and big-play threat Sproles averaged just 3.7 yards/carry. I suppose that was L.T’s fault, right?

  13. Sproles also had a pretty mediocre season as a returner as well, ranked 40th. I suppose that was the O-Line’s fault too, right?
    With the exception of the RG who was a rookie last season this was the same line that helped LT get 1,110 yards in 08 and 1,474 yards in 07.
    I had never seen LT trip up or go down so easy at any time in his career until last season. First contact he would go down whereas before he’d make the defender miss or break the tackle.

  14. SC21/SowCrates
    You’re “conveniently” ignoring the fact that LT’s decline didn’t begin last year. How do you explain LT’s 3.8 YPC vs. Sproles 5.4 YPC in 2008? The fact is, Sproles is a SITUATIONAL back. He is not going to put up consistent statistics because the nature of his workload is not consistent. They tried using Sproles more as a runner last year (He had as many carries as the previous 2 seasons combined) and it hurt his YPC average, because he was no longer running exclusively in situations that played to his strengths. Also notable is LT’s decline in the passing game, which can’t be attributed to offensive line play (Not to mention Sproles still did great catching passes out of the backfield). If you had watched the games, you’d have seen the holes that the line opened for LT not being utilized because LT was busy tripping over his own feet or getting arm tackled. Dude is done, even the Jets know this, as they used half of their picks on RBs. They only got LT for the publicity to hype up their season of Hard Knocks.

  15. Sproles averaged 11YPC in the playoffs vs. the Jets. He’s a change of pace back and not an every down back. When your bread-winning everydown back is not moving the chains and wearing down the defense it’s going to make life misserable for the change of pace runner. Time will tell if the O-line can return to form, but fresh legs can’t hurt. If Mathews can move the chains and tire the defense it will make life easier for Sproles and the O-line and the defense.

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