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Turner Details Running Game

Posted by Christopher Smith on July 22, 2010 – 5:38 PM

Six weeks after OTAs ended, Thursday’s informal press conference with Norv Turner represented a welcome break for those of us producing stories every day without fresh quotes.

The lunchtime chat provided plenty of interesting tidbits. I’ll get to more tomorrow, but Turner had some illuminating, if not surprising, things to say about the run game.

He acknowledged the coaching staff made a concerted effort this offseason to analyze and improve the team’s ground game. They concluded the team lacked the 10 and 20-yard bursts that loosened defenses and epitomized the nervousness induced by some of San Diego’s backs in 2006 and 2007.

First-round pick Ryan Mathews, he made it clear, mostly will play on first and second downs to start his career. While Mathews already has demonstrated that he understands the importance of pass protection, and his 6-foot, 218-pound frame seems tailored for the task, he’ll get time to develop the skill that’s often the hardest for rookie running backs to master. Darren Sproles will remain the primary third-down back for the Chargers.

You stand behind (Mathews) and look at his calves and he is a big, solid guy. (Fresno State) teaches their players to play in a very physical manner, so he’s not shy about contact,” Turner said. “I can’t believe he won’t be an outstanding pass protector because he has the want-to and he has the physical stature to do it.

The guy that’s really become a great pass protector is Darren Sproles. Ryan won’t have to play on third downs. Someday he will, because he’ll want to. I don’t think those linebackers like coming in there because (Sproles) is at the right level to hit them right in the thighs. He knifes them. He knocked down more blitzing linebackers last year than any back I’ve been around.”

It’s difficult to gauge the team’s thought process on the third running back, mainly because fullback Mike Tolbert will be the third guy to carry the football.

Turner gave him another endorsement Thursday and hinted he might get the ball even more than the 25 carries and 17 receptions he totaled last season.

Tolbert got about one-third of the repetitions carrying the ball during OTAs and Turner got a chuckle out of Tolbert’s appreciation, comparing the 5-foot-9, 243-pound man to a kid on Christmas morning.

The coach also said he’s considered tweaking a few schematic things to maximize the play action.

We continue to look at how we can marry our running game with our passing game,” Turner said. “More shotgun type runs. We’ve worked at continuing to find ways to get the ball on the edge, get the ball on the perimeter. There aren’t very many teams that get the ball outside because the defenses are so fast in our league. We’ve looked hard at the teams that do. Most of them have a real fast back.”

San Diego has tried to get the ball outside in recent years but without great success, Turner said.

He also noted that members of the offensive line take exception when some pigeonhole them as finesse blockers and said he believes there are eight players worthy of starting on the line.

More tomorrow.

Stay true and keep pounding,
Christopher.


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Posted in Miscellaneous, Notes | 6 Comments »


6 Responses to “Turner Details Running Game”

  1. By Khalil Jordan on Jul 22, 2010 | Reply

    I believe that the chargers have a great oppertunity to become on of the greatest franchises in the nfl, but it seems like we lack the pure determination or will to move past just making it to the playoffs. i think its about time we showed the world that we are more than just a team that can have an amazing season than get sent home in the playoffs, also i believe that this year and the years to come if the chargers dont make the super bowl than the season was a complete waste. I dont mean to seem so urgent about it but just making the playoffs is’nt cuttin it anymore for this franchise, the way i see it its super bowl or nothing for the chargers.
    -charged4life

  2. By terry on Jul 23, 2010 | Reply

    i stand be hide u 100% we need a super bowl let`s get it done chargers let gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  3. By Tyler on Jul 23, 2010 | Reply

    The Jets beat us with a great defense, a solid QB, a solid strategy, and alot of mistakes on our part. Add in a RB that can actually get 100 yards in a game like that, and its easily the difference. Add in a few non-missed FG’s, and we win by 10. My prediction? The Jets will be lucky to make playoffs this year, just like last.

  4. By Charlie Kirby(803sc) on Jul 26, 2010 | Reply

    Come on yall, were’s the Chargers spirit. Damn the New York Jets, we’ll get those playoffs stealing mf’s. And we’ll make it this year and get that damn ring. Coach Turner, im one of your biggest fans, and i have belief that you’ll do something to make us win. We have awsome offense and great defense, so LETS GET OUR HEAD OUT OUR ASS AND WIN THAT SUPERBOWL AND GET THAT DAMN RING. Bigs ups to San Diego Chargers. My favorite team and best. Love yall! N0W LETS DO IT. Gooooooooooo Chargerrrrrrrrrrrrrrs! woooooooooh whoooo!

  5. By DJ RUFUS on Jul 26, 2010 | Reply

    The coachs is doing a good job of coaching and putting the players in the right spots to make plays & win. It is time for the players to reward the coach & everyone else for putting this thing together. We have the team to win it all, the player need to stop BS-ING and bring the SB home. I tell u, it would be nice to be able to talk Sh-t back to the other teams fans that have a SB-ring. this is just a thought from the mind of a loyal charger fan. LET’S GO DIEGO

  6. By big kicass on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    san diego super chargers ? i ask myself is Aj Smith a mob boss LOL becuz every body seems to be full of sh.. and scared to tell the truth about whats going on ? true facts hardwick is under sized norv feed him or start green / i will just call him #93 until he shows me something then he can be called by his name LoL yeah i said it #93 is taking up roster space and money we could be giving to VJ #93 has been a bust since 07 i think him and mr olivea was doing coke but olivea was the only one that got cought LoL and then what sealed the deal between us is when he let a WR named chad ochocinco block him on a run down you big ass bitc. your like 3 to 4 times his size then he used you on a screen blocked you then run out for the short catch maybe you need some hgh you guys remember the movie the program LoL thats what we need in #93 with out the hgh someone please light the fire under #93 seat so we could start screaming his name on sundays not first year players on are squad like boone and travis and martin sign the boyz and quit playing around we all know the west is up for grabs this year please sign them die heart fan here and that kid shawnbrey mcneal is the real deal hes like LT mixed with Sproles speed keep him around trade # 93 and jyles tucker and shaun phillips in a package trade for something good AJ Smith before its to late they are the ones to blame for there lack of manning up ok me and my friends have been on shaun phillips head for a long time then im watching NFL Network and Warren Sapp is saying the same things about you shaun man up in my eyes the last big hits you’ve had was on rex grossman and in the medical marihuana shop bumb and you talk to much man up or pack your bags i hope for a good season and a ring at the end of it nate kaeding dont take anymore deals from illuminati we are on to you fool it just seems odd the bengals kicker fuc.ed up then the next week you come on we are watching you know bolts for life

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