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.
Tags: Darren Sproles, Norv Turner, Offensive Line, Pass Protection, Run, Ryan Mathews
Posted in Miscellaneous, Notes | 6 Comments »
- Philip Rivers passed for a career-high 436 yards today, tying Dan Fouts, for the fourth-most prolific passing day in team history…Fouts happened to be in the broadcast booth at Qualcomm Stadium this afternoon, working as an analyst on CBS.
- Included in Rivers’ day was a career-long 81-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles in the first quarter. The play tied for the ninth-longest pass play in team history.
- Sproles finished the day with 278 all-purpose yards – 26 rushing, 124 receiving and 128 on kickoff returns. It was the ninth-best all-purpose day in team history. For Sproles, it also marked his second-consecutive 200-yard game as he accounted for 264 yards – 23 rush, 43 receiving, 10 punt return and 170 kickoff return – in Monday’s season-opener in Oakland.
- Sproles’ 124 yards receiving were a career-high, as well as his first-ever 100-yard receiving game.
- Vincent Jackson had the second-best receiving day of his career today with 141 yards, seven yards shy of his career-high of 148 against Oakland last Dec. 4, 2008.
- It was Sproles’ ninth-career 200-yard game.
- The Chargers reported only two injuries from today’s game, linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Philips both suffered groin injuries.
Tags: Dan Fouts, Darren Sproles, Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson
Posted in Game Day, Notes | 12 Comments »
Norv Turner and his medical staff will get together Saturday and decide the status of several players for the Chargers’ preseason opener against the Seahawks. The decision has already been made for first-round pick Larry English as well as Stephen Cooper and Ryon Bingham. They won’t play.
The team held an hour-long walkthrough Friday morning which served as the final prep for Saturday’s game. Norv has told his starters to “be prepared to play a half,” but they might not play that much. He’s still undecided on LT.
Darren Sproles was back Friday after the birth of his daughter and was beaming as he talked about her. That was a neat conversation.
One funny part from Thursday’s practice I didn’t note anywhere, during a goalline period, the third-team offense was on the field against the first-team defense. LT stood behind the huddle and fired up the defense by chanting, “You can’t run!” There’s a group in the north end zone that regularly chants that saying whenever opponents get stuffed on the ground. It was a funny moment.
See you Satruday at the Q!
Tags: Darren Sproles, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry English, Ryon Bingham, Stephen Cooper
Posted in Training Camp | 1 Comment »