Norv Turner says he’s got “great trust” in Ryan Mathews


On Sunday, the Chargers sent a pretty clear message about the importance of holding onto the ball to running back Ryan Mathews.

The former first-round pick sat on the bench behind Jackie Battle at the start of the game and had just four carries through the first three quarters as the Chargers went with Battle as their lead back while running up a big lead over the Chiefs. Mathews also had just one touch when the team was in the red zone, an area where coach Norv Turner suggested that Mathews would see fewer touches in the coming weeks and months. In spite of all that, Turner also said that the team had “great trust” in Mathews.

“We just have a lot of guys that can make plays,” Turner said, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I thought it was important to let Jackie start the game. I wanted to make sure we got into a rhythm. We had a plan for specific things for Ryan, and I thought he responded in the four minutes right there at the end. He was rolling and hitting it. You ask about the confidence I have in him. We’re trying to put the game away, and he’s the guy handling the ball, so I think that answers that question.”

Mathews had 10 carries in the fourth quarter, a role that Turner is suggesting was given to him because the Chargers felt confident in his ability to close out the Chiefs. Seeing as how the score was 27-13 to open the quarter and that Battle still got the red zone touches, the usage during the first three quarters might paint a fuller picture of the message the Chargers were sending to Mathews.

That will likely change when the team has a need for a more dynamic offensive option out of the backfield, but Sunday went well enough for the Chargers to win a game and let Mathews know what his role will be if he keeps putting the ball on the ground.

8 responses to “Norv Turner says he’s got “great trust” in Ryan Mathews

  1. It’s a completely unpopular opinion but I like Turner.

    I will say this much, he’s no where near as bad as people like to say he is. He puts a good game plan together and his players respect him. What more can you ask for?

    He was brought in to replace a man who couldn’t win a playoff game with this talented squad, he did that. Let’s see what he can do in the playoffs this year (assuming they make it which I’m pretty sure they will)

  2. You get to a point where you have to make sure your message is heard loud and clear. Period.

    We wrecked the Chiefs in that game and Matthews got to sit and watch rather than join the fun until the game was practically out of reach… it was an incredible decision and worked out to perfection.

    I’m sure everyone noticed Matthews squeezing that ball with both arms when he entered into contact when he got his runs in the final minutes.

    Well Played Norv, Well Played.

  3. Mathews was ineffective against the Chiefs, but it didn’t matter, Jackie Battle was/is a monster that was severely underutilized by the Chiefs. It was nice to see him, show them, what they let get away.

  4. Why would anyone care who was benched, or not? Isn’t the idea to have the team win? I never understand why so many people get a stiffy for any individual player. You pull for the team and the town.

  5. Tiki Barber had these issues for a long time as did Adrian Peterson early in his career. Mathews is the kind of guy who if he puts it all together can be an all-pro for a long time to come. Hopefully he can pull his head out in time.

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