Fumble won’t change Ryan Mathews’ role with Chargers


The Chargers signed Donald Brown as a free agent this offseason, giving them a good option at running back in the event that Ryan Mathews is unavailable for any stretches this season.

Brown and Danny Woodhead also give the team a pair of options to turn to if they feel Mathews’ play is not where they want it to be. That was sometimes an issue early in Mathews’ career because of fumbles and Thursday night’s preseason game provided a reminder of those days when Mathews coughed up the ball on his way into the end zone. Chargers coach Mike McCoy wasn’t thrilled with the turnover, but said he’s not turning to Brown or Woodhead the next time the Chargers are knocking on the door.

“No, he’s our bell cow,” McCoy said, via U-T San Diego. “I’m giving it to him again on the goal line. He’s jumped over the top a number of times and scored his entire career here. The safety put his head on the ball, and the ball came out, so that’s all part of the game. We can’t let it happen. It’s a critical error on our part in the red area. It should be a walk-in touchdown in my opinion, and we didn’t execute it right overall as an entire offense. It’s a good play on the defense. Give them credit where credit is deserved.”

Mathews fumbled 10 times in his first two seasons, but that number dropped to four over the last two seasons as Mathews’ touches have increased. Given that, it would be rash for the Chargers to make any changes because of an August fumble.

15 responses to “Fumble won’t change Ryan Mathews’ role with Chargers

  1. I don’t believe Matthew is a bell cow back because he never has been. Their has always been other options or guys who cut into his touches because he wears down. I personally believe that if he doesn’t resign with the Chargers on a team friendly deal that his days as a starter are over.

  2. Leaping over the line with a “high school” style grip on the ball shows a lack of awareness in a critical situation. His problems are not physical…

  3. It would be a huge overreaction to let a single fumble define your view of his role in the bolts’ offense. He did an excellent job last year in an offense that was actually suited to his skills, and I don’t think there’s a persuasive reason to think that this year will represent a step back.

  4. I’ve always been one of Mathews biggest supporters, most bolts fans arent sold on him. He has big shoes to fill, LT is a tough act to follow. That being said, this guy has to have a big year or I’m pretty sure he’s gone. He has talent, just needs to sharpen up on the details.

  5. McCoy went on to say ” If our offense stunk it up that bad against the leagues worst defense, imagine how bad we can be against good teams!”

  6. tinbender2000

    Chargers were top 5 offense last year AND they are better this year. Although Matthews fumble was boneheaded–no need to dive over the DL on first down in a meaningless game.

    I’m pretty sure whoever your team is, the Chargers beat them. Matthews was probably better than your running back.

  7. The great play by the cowboy defender is exactly what the Chargers are teaching our defenders to do… create turnovers. Sure I want the bolts to win ever time but I love to see great football plays which are becoming fewer because of all the rule changes. Fired up football is back!

  8. The fumble might not cause me to have concerns about starting him, but it certainly would make me think twice before handing him the ball at the goal line again. Cover the ball with both hands, or don’t make a jump like that. Stupid decision.

  9. Mathews is a decent RB, but in that situation, I feel more comfortable with Woodhead handling the ball at the 1-yard line than Mathews.

    That fumble was a good play by the defender, yet it was reckless of Mathews handling the ball that way in that situation. The Chargers have said that red-zone situations was an area they needed to improve on and Mathews let an impeccable drive that would have resulted in a TD, get away from him. because his reckless handling of the football.

    Then again, if Mathews’ had to pick a time to allow his fumble-itis to flare up, better now than in games that actually matter.

  10. Proves why Tom Telesco is a genius… Signed Donald Brown in free agency as an insurance policy on Mathews’ performance and injury-prone career.

  11. I’m one of Ryan Matthews biggest fans yet I’m very disappointed he has fumbling problems Ryan had a great season last year the fumble Thursday reminded me of his first couple of years I believe in Ryan he does make resigning him would be good for this team but if he doesn’t fix you his problems then get rid of him that why I love the signing of Donald Brown also the Darren Sproles clone looks good too

  12. wait a minute.. were not going to cancel his contract after that critical fumble in such an important game? what is wrong with our management???

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