Searching for a replacement for LaDainian Tomlinson, the San Diego Chargers aggressively moved up in the 2010 NFL Draft in order to acquire Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews. Then head coach Norv Turner proclaimed that Mathews would get 300+ touches between carries and pass receptions in his rookie season. Mathews’ rookie season was very disappointing.
Mathews proclaimed himself healthy last season and Turner told reporters that he would become a bellcow back in the NFL. As the 2012 season progressed, Mathews was bitten by the injury bug once again, breaking his collarbone. Set to start his fourth season, Mathews is still trying to live up to the high expectations set on him his rookie season.
“One of my main problems was trying to do over-my-head stuff and not being me. That’s one thing I wanted to focus on this offseason-not trying to be someone I’m not,” Mathews told SiriusXM radio over the weekend.
Mathews will be operating under a new offensive scheme this season as the Chargers decided to move on from head coach Norv Turner and hired first-year head coach Mike McCoy. In the early stages of this year’s training camp, Mathews has been practicing with both the first and second teams on the field. The Chargers added free agent RB Danny Woodhead this offseason and has veteran Ronnie Brown on the roster as well.
Mathews has been a major disappointment for fantasy owners in his first three seasons and this year might not provide any different result. It’s very possible that the Chargers will rotate backs without going with a feature back alignment. Actually, Danny Woodhead’s versatility could prove to be a better fantasy value this season, especially with his pass catching skills and elusiveness.