Ryan Mathews had a breakout season, but he’s not pretending he did it alone.
The Chargers running back decided to thank all his blockers for the work they did for him this year, giving them gifts of something better than Isotoner gloves.
According to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Mathews gave each of his offensive linemen a Gucci watch to thank them for their help this year.
“He’s awesome,” Chargers center Nick Hardwick said. “That is who he is. It’s not him being humble just to be humble. He truly is that. He’ll grab you and say, ‘Let’s get this done. Let’s get this going.’ He knows it takes all of us. It takes his fullback. It takes his tight ends. It takes the receivers to pop big runs. It certainly takes the offensive line, and he knows that. He’s fully bought into the team concept of ‘us.’”
Mathews even extended his generosity to the late arrivals, giving one of the luxury timepieces to November addition Willie Smith, who has played in exactly six snaps since signing.
“I was like, ‘What the heck? Gucci? On my seat? At my locker? Wow,’ ” Smith said. “That was my response. I did not expect to get anything. . . .
“I didn’t know who it was from until I asked everybody, and they said it was Ryan.”
Mathews didn’t want to talk about the gifts, saying “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and walking away.
But he can’t deny that with some help, he’s had a career year, with 1,255 rushing yards and six 100-yard games.
He’s expected to practice today after taking two days off to rest his sore ankle, and play in Sunday’s playoff game against the Bengals.